Claire Daniels
Body of Intuition
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With Body of Intuition, Claire Daniels introduced Cally Lazar, medical intuitive extraordinaire -- and recovering attorney. Now the "wonderful New Age heroine"* is on a brand-new case...

To the "good" folks of her hometown, May North's alleged past as a madam was an affront. But Cally Lazar can intuit a lot about people from their auras. She knows that behind May's gruff exterior is a psychic storehouse of hurt and pain crying out for a karmic intervention. And after a tune-up on Cally's massage table, May's aura is so energized that she invites her New Age guru to a party.

Unfortunately, the party is not a success -- especially since May is strangled by her own necklace. The police are ready to jail her husband and call it a day. But one look at the suspect's aura and Cally knows that he was no killer...

* Lynne Murray, author of A Ton of Trouble

(And, for your reading pleasure, a few bits and bytes from the text of Strangled Intuition...)


"Do you have kids?" asked the silver-haired woman who lay face-up on my massage table. She smelled of a perfume that tickled my nose. I suppressed the urge to sneeze. Sneezing on clients was definitely in the code of "modalities not to be tried" in my energetic healing practice.

"No," I answered her question briefly. I could have said more. I am, after all, all of thirty-six years of age, well into the range of child-bearing potential. But how could I explain to a first-time client that the one man I loved was no more fit to be a father than I was to be a mother. In polite conversation, I would have asked May North if she had children herself. But that Friday, I was working. Or maybe I should say that energy was working through me. After all the seminars I'd taken on energetic healing, and all the clients I'd had on my table (once I'd recovered from my attorney phase), I'd concluded that I wasn't the healer when I "worked." The client was the healer. I just enabled the healing.

I traced the edges of May's energetic field with my hands and gauged her sadness as she spoke. My own eyes felt a sudden pressure of tears behind my glasses. The sadness, grief, and longing were a surprise. I'd met May in one of my brother York's martial arts classes. She was witty, ribald, and aggressive on the surface. Her imitation of the mayor of her home town, Mostaza, had made me laugh until my face hurt. Anger, now that I'd expected to find. But this extreme of sadness? I shook my head. I could see it, too, in the blue aura of mourning that surrounded her and in the green of frustration and loss. These colors might have meant something else in another client, the blue of truth or the green of healing. But in May, they were clearly sadness.

"You oughta think about kids, Cally," she suggested, her voice harsh in tone, but kind in undertone. "You've got the heart for it."

I nodded, barely hearing her words as I concentrated on imagining May loving herself, imagining May accepting compassion, and imagining May filled with joy. I gently touched the two points on either side of her nose and ran my hands all the way down to the ends of her index fingers. I could feel the grief following my touch to her fingertips and out. I breathed in contentment as May smiled, her face pinkening as her aura gentled into softer tones, and as a corresponding sense of warmth spread through my limbs. May was a client who was able to accept the gifts of energy work. And quickly. Not every client was this open. Actually, very few were.

"But you have animals," May continued. "Now cats are sneaky little sweet talkers. But they're cute. And goats. Whooee! What a trip. It's nice here, Cally. Nature's damn near to heaven as far as I'm concerned, and you've got it all around you."


(A short while later)

It was time to wrap up the session for the day. I had a feeling May North had a lot more to reveal, but I was going to quit now while she was feeling good.

"You may find that some difficult feelings crop up after today," I began my post-session lecture. "Call me if you need to, but just as long as you know that feelings can be a natural outcome of the work--"

"Just a natural outcome of life, you ask me," she interrupted.

Twenty minutes later, I'd finished my lecture, and May was still smiling. The room felt warm, but maybe it was really the warmth of a new-found friend. Because May felt like a friend now, not just a client.

"You want to come to a party with that gorgeous brother of yours?" she asked when I was finished. "I figure Mostaza needs a little scandalizing, so I'm throwing a shindig tonight. Champagne, good eats, the works. York already said he'd come."

It took me more than a minute to switch gears.

"You got a boyfriend, or a girlfriend or whatever, you can bring them too," she added.

"York's going?" I asked stupidly.

"Yep, I hornswoggled him yesterday."

I thought about it. I didn't have any plans. Maybe Roy... I decided I'd think about Roy later.

"Why not?" I said to May, and she hopped off the table and gave me a hug that imprinted the contours of her gold necklace onto my minimalist chest and the imprint of her perfume into my nostrils.

After May left, I picked up the cane I used to support my weak leg and crossed the hall to the tiny dining room that I used for an office. I made out a file for May enthusiastically and wrote up some notes about the session. I was sure May would be back. Then I walked through my kitchen for an early twilight view of my deck garden, which shimmered with the pink, yellow and blue of primroses, the orange of Iceland poppies, and the purple of pansies. I stepped out the back door onto the deck, cold air chilling my face immediately, and waved at my goats. They were white LaManchas, with sturdy bodies, elf ears and straggly beards. Ohio bleated at my wave, and the world felt perfect. Then I remembered Roy.

Roy. What can I say about Roy? I went back into the kitchen to put the kettle on the stove for tea. Roy was the man I loved, an accountant originally from Kentucky with an endearing drawl, a weedy body not unlike my own, reddish-brown hair, and intense golden eyes. We'd been lovers for about seven years when he'd started in about the "dark forces." Dark forces were what appeared when he looked at me. And being the sweet man he was, he figured that this darkness meant that our being together was somehow harmful to me. How's that for a Rorschach? Criminy, he could have blamed me. But he did worse, especially when I started getting stomachaches. He avoided me entirely. Somehow, though, neither of us could manage to stay apart and we'd been seeing each other again... cautiously. Well, Roy was cautious anyway. Even my healer friends could see the darkness around us when we were together. Even I could see it. No one knew what it meant. All I knew was that Roy was a good man, even a sane man, despite the dark forces. How could I think otherwise? I saw colors when I looked at people. Roy saw darkness. But still--

The tea kettle shrilled.

I poured the boiling water over a bag of peach tea, inhaling its scent, and made up my mind. May said I could invite a boyfriend or "whatever" to the party. I'd invite my whatever, Roy.

As soon as I heard his voice on the phone, I knew Roy wouldn't go to May's party with me. He already had the dark forces for company.

"Cally, darlin'," he breathed. "I was about to call you. Something's wrong. I can feel it--"

"No, Roy," I begged. I didn't want to hear it. "Please--"

"I can see it, Cally," he insisted. "There's a terrible evil near you--"


(Later that night, at the party...)

"Where's May?" I asked once Ian reached me. I'd come to this party to get to know May better and she wasn't around. And it had been way too long since she'd gone to "freshen up." Dack, if she didn't come back soon, I'd try to get to know the parrot.

Ian frowned. The expression looked strange on his face.

"May?" he called out. But no one answered.

Gerry turned around. "Oh dear, is my May missing?" he asked.

"I'll go find her," Sarah offered and turned to the door leading to the stairway.

Gerry followed her, apologizing to the rest of us.

And then, Ian turned back to me.

"So, Cally," he murmured, standing way too close to me. "May says you do voodoo." He rolled his eyes in mock fright. "She says you've got second sight--"

And then a scream came vibrating down the stairway and flooded the living room.


(Was Roy right, after all?)

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