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First, there was Body of Intuition, then Strangled Intuition, and now, Cruel and Unusual Intuition is coming to a store near you.  Look for the third in the Cally Lazar series on the shelves of your favorite local bookstore in March of 2005.  And if they don't have it, feel free to demand that they order a copy... or a box full of copies.

Until then, you might want to peek at a few pieces from Cruel and Unusual Intuition right here:


The third day of the intensive was certainly tense.

"Fran, I know you hid your energy wand in your backpack," Dr. Aurora Hart said, her tone uncharacteristically kind for the moment.  She looked right into Fran's dark eyes, her own blue eyes intense in her heart-shaped face.  Her voice roughened.  "You don't have to hide it from me.  I won't steal it.  Get over it, okay?"

Fran Marquez looped the strap of her backpack over the curved wooden frame of her chair and sat down at the long table set for twelve at the Best Fortune Chinese Restaurant.  She didn't attempt to answer Dr. Hart.  Her classic Amerind features were passive, but unyielding.  Fran had been a nurse before she developed her energy wand.  When she hit forty, she began her own practice, using the energy wand as its main tool.  She knew how to keep her feelings away from her face, that was for sure.  All I could see were her high adobe-colored cheekbones and the dark glint of her eyes under the wings of her black pageboy. 

Dr. Hart turned away from Fran, shaking her long, blond, cornrowed hair so that shiny beads flashed.  It was a practiced move.  Dr. Aurora Hart was a beautiful woman at fifty-something, as well as a rich and gifted one.  Her full lips and wide eyes set in a perfect heart-shaped face could have made her a model or an actress.  But instead, she was a medical doctor turned energy healer, leader of the Chakra Commitment movement, writer, speaker, and businesswoman.  I should have said businesswoman first, actually.  A full chakra commitment amounted to about five thousand dollars a year for four years. 

All of the rest of us at the table besides her staff leader, Quinn Vogel, were here as her temporary students.  We were paying temporary students, although I don't think any of us were going to sign up for the full program after the verbal abuse we'd taken over the last three days.  Was I having a good time on that Saturday in the heart of the wine country?  Was I committed to my chakras?  Well, maybe my actual chakras.  But I wasn't committed to Dr. Hart's vision of my chakras.  Actually, I was midgin tired of Dr. Hart's program if the truth be told.  And I knew I wasn't alone in my feelings.  Dr. Hart seemed to be a real intuitive, but that was as far as her sensitivity went.

Dr. Hart's intense eyes moved toward the only remaining empty space at the table, the seat where Sara Oshima, her third in command, should have been sitting.

"She'll be here," Quinn assured his boss, lightly touching her hand.  Quinn wasn't even thirty but his long, lean, hound dog face was serious and his voice edged with nervousness.

"Of course she will," Dr. Hart agreed, smiling now so that her white teeth sparkled.  "She works for me.  If she isn't committed enough to show up for lunch, she can find a new job."

I tried to think about food, looking at the menu in my hand.  Food, not anger, right?  I reminded myself that I was a healer.  The Szechuan prawns looked interesting.  Anger wasn't good for me.  The mu-shu might be tasty.  Resentment wasn't good for me.  Soup, I told myself, think about soup.  Criminy, Dr. Hart wasn't good for me.  And the intensive wasn't over yet.  Dr. Hart would do her speech, and then we'd be back to work with her.  I closed my eyes and took a deep cleansing breath.

When I'd been invited to be one of nine special students chosen for a "limited" intensive before and after Dr. Aurora Hart's public appearance to the unchosen, I'd been truly excited.  I'd already read Dr. Hart's books.  I even had her audio tapes.  She was a good writer, a good speaker.  But I'd decided that one thing about her hadn't shown up in her books and tapes.  She could be mean-spirited.  In fact, she could be downright cruel.  That became evident the first day we were together in the meeting room of the Swanton Hills Lodge located conveniently near to the Boy Scout Hall where she was to speak this afternoon.  She'd taken shots at all of us.

She began by making fun of her own staff members, Quinn Vogel and Sara Oshima.  The kidding might have appeared affectionate, but it wasn't.  And then she started in on the intensive workshop students.  We all had our own healing practices.  Ed Lau was a chi gung master.  Dr. Hart thought he was too fat.  Fran Marquez worked with a Kirlian wand, an "energy wand," which the good doctor found amusing.  Judd Nyman was a bossy Thai massage/reflexology practitioner.  Dr. Hart let him know just how bossy he was.  And she dismissed the validity of Raleigh Hutchinson's resonance work, not to mention Craig Zweig's communications with invisible entities and Taj Gemayel's past life regressions.  She teased Kim Welch for having spent thirty years of her life to receive accreditation as a psychiatrist, and she sniffed at Dotty Booth's aromatherapy. 

As for me, she told me she saw a very unhealthy darkness near me.  I know, I know.  My boyfriend, Roy, has been talking about the darkness for a lot longer than Dr. Hart.  But she saw it too.  Luckily, Roy was in Kentucky doing good works for his family while Dr. Hart was loudly validating the inadequacy of my darkness-attracting chakras.

So, we all had our quality time with Dr. Aurora Hart. 

Later that afternoon at the Boy Scout Hall...

A few minutes after four o'clock, Aurora Hart made her entrance, prancing onto the stage with her cornrowed head held high and wide-set eyes burning with intensity.

The sound of at least four hundred hands clapping erupted.  Aurora Hart held out her arms as if to embrace the whole audience.  And they loved it.  They loved her.  Maybe they'd listened to her tapes.  They couldn't have known her personally.

"Tonight," she began softly, a vibrato in her voice.  "Tonight, we honor our chakras."  Then she brought her hands inward as if to pray.  And she paused.

The clapping broke out once more.  The doctor wasn't going to have to depend on her students for enthusiasm.  Her audience was with her.

"Do you all know what your chakras are?" she began.

A resounding chorus of affirmatives filled the hall.  But she explained anyway.  The star bit sounded better the second time around.  But there was much more intensity in Dr. Hart's voice now.  And then she made her pitch.

"Each and every one of your chakras is sacred," she declaimed, flinging out her arms.  "Each is your spirit, your body, your mind."  She lowered her voice and looked out into the audience with a plea in her eyes.  "And it is your sacred duty to keep them clean.  Only you can do it."

She stepped back.  The hall was silent now.

"How?" she asked.  "How can you clean them?  By finding what it is that is stuck to your chakras and shaking it free.  Free!  Is there anyone out there who can feel something wrong in their chakras?"

People shouted back their answers.

"Do you want to know why?" she asked.

"YES!" the room roared.

"Because you have an affinity for the negativity that is stuck to your chakras.  Yes, an affinity.  But you can clear it.  In fact, only you can clear it.  I can see it, but you must be committed to clearing it."  She paused, then raised her arms once more.

"Are you committed?!" she shouted.

The crowd went wild.  I wondered for a moment if she had paid shills, but I didn't think so.  These people were reflecting back Dr. Hart's own intensity, her own enthusiasm, her own ego.

"Chakra number one," she announced.  And the bottom of her torso shone pinkly.  There were gasps in the audience.  If I hadn't known the trick, I might have thought it was coming from her actual energy body myself.  "Your first chakra reflects your life force, your physical being, your safety, your root.  Can you stand up for yourself in your first chakra?"


"Your second chakra," she went on.  A pale orange color floated around her abdomen.  More gasps.  "Sexuality," she purred.  "Sensuality.  Emotions.  Own them!"

"The third chakra," she whispered.  A pale yellow topped the other colors around her solar plexus.  "Intellect, honor, responsibility, power."  She opened her arms.  "Take control of your life!"

"Chakra four," she continued as the clapping quieted down.  The soft light around her heart and thymus was green.  "Love, compassion, hope.  Can you love yourself?  Love yourself now!"

  "Chakra five," she offered next, her throat shining blue.  "Expression.  Creating your own life.  Learning to speak your truth.  Can you speak your truth?"

"The sixth chakra, she declared, and now her cornrowed bangs radiated violet.  "Clairvoyance, insight, inspiration.  Truth.  Are you ready for the truth?"

They were ready.

"And now, the seventh chakra," she pronounced.  But no color issued from the top of her head.  And no new words followed her pronouncement.

Dr. Hart's body seized.  Was this part of the show?  Her body stiffened and vibrated at the same time for what seemed an eternity...


And then?  I hope you'll read Cruel and Unusual Intuition and find out.


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