Untrained Eye

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UntrainedEye_lg Jody Klaire
The Above and Beyond Series, Book 3
________________________________________

Bink Books
404 pp. ● 5.5×8.5
$17.95 (pb) ● $8.95 (eb)
ISBN 978-1-943837-14-4 (pb)
● 978-1-943837-15-1 (eb)

FICTION – Thriller
FICTION – Mystery

About the Book

CIG boss Ursula Frei asks Aeron for help to prevent a group of children in the Caprock Academy from becoming victims to a life that created the same deep scars Frei herself bears. But this personal request is complicated by Aeron’s dimming powers as a consequence of her actions for healing her mentor Renee.

Although Aeron enjoys the respite from her burdens, she is forced to fake a vision, not realizing her mother, Lilia, has the same vision and ultimately allows the CIG team to get involved in the mission. Unfortunately, Aeron’s vision sees them rescuing the children and walking away stronger, and her mother sees the three agents implode and their mission unravel under the weight of secrets, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings.

But Lilia has faith in Aeron, Frei, and Renee and still believes they can get the children out safely . . . even if it means one of the team gets left behind.


Praise

“These are amazing characters and unusual plots. Jody Klaire manages to mix up a thriller crime drama with a psychic whodunit and an ever so slowly burning romance. It’s a wonderful action adventure story for girls. Add in humour, great dialogue, brilliant writing and these books are just a joy.” – Velvet Lounger, Lesbian Reading Room


Excerpt

Chapter 1

SIGHT IS A funny thing. It throws up all kinds of meanings. Looking at something and really seeing it ain’t the same thing. There’re different perspectives, I guess.

Some folks have a vision of success or what love is. They have a way of focusing on how to achieve their goal. They pursue it without resting. It can see them become great or it can drive them to madness. It’s a risk they seem to accept and they go all out for it.

I guess you could say that I had a unique way of seeing things. I mean, I was pretty different and my ability to see the past and present, feelings and hidden secrets of folks around me meant that I had a lot of responsibility on my Samson-like shoulders. That was okay. I was learning to live with it.

Thing was, I found it hard when people didn’t see that I wasn’t a machine that spat out answers. The Criminal Investigations Group, or CIG, employed me to be just that. I was there to save them time, or at least that’s how it felt. Even Renee started to act the same way. She didn’t seem to get me at all. Something pretty nasty happened to her which had changed her view on things. Seeing stuff through scarred eyes had narrowed her point of view.

Renee always had a tendency to be a bit tunnel visioned. Being a protection officer could do that to a person. Her educated, highly-trained eyes seemed to miss that her attitude kinda hurt sometimes.

I didn’t get how she let me in so close and then pushed me away. Her secrets nearly cost a lot of folks their lives in St. Jude’s. The more I thought about it, the more it got to me. I’d trusted her but she hadn’t really ever returned it. I’d thought all that happened in St. Jude’s had shown her that I was trustworthy, that I was capable of helping.

Turned out, sometimes I could be as blind as the next person.

She didn’t know that when I’d healed her, I’d seen it all. I’d seen everything she went through and took on board the pain. I’d been trying to shake it off but it wouldn’t shift no matter how hard I tried.

Then, there was my mother, Lilia. She was the head of the CIG and a “seer.” I thought she was meddling more than helping. The whole basis of CIG was that we ran around trying to help people fix stuff that hadn’t even happened. I wasn’t fond of her, not after she left me when I was a kid. I had more issues with her than I could cope with so I just came to the point where I thought it best not to think too deeply about it.

Finally, there was the hawk-like gaze of the CIG’s boss. Ursula Frei was the operational leader. She had eyes as sharp as her tongue and her views on what was acceptable didn’t always match mine. I didn’t know if she liked me all that much but she scared me more than I liked to let on.

Women, in my humble opinion, were a pain in the butt. I’d been locked up with a bunch of them in a mental institution for eleven years but nothing had equipped me to cope with Renee’s odd mood swings, my mother’s guilt trips, or Frei’s icy glare. Not that I wanted to go back to Serenity Hills but I didn’t get why everyone was being so complicated.

It seemed like beyond my burdens, beyond my six-foot-five frame, they’d all forgotten I was pretty inexperienced. The more they were shoving me into stuff, the more I didn’t know how to cope with it.

Aeron Lorelei, the empath, the one who did as told and didn’t make too much fuss about it. They’d forgotten where that kind of attitude got people. I’d spent over a decade inside. There was a burning sense of injustice in my heart from it.

Maybe one day, I’d unravel the cobwebs sticking all around me and find a way to let it all go. Maybe I’d find my own goal to set my sights on. Seeing was believing, right?

Sometimes I’d dream I lost all my burdens. I was free to do whatever I wanted to. I wondered what would happen if I woke up and that were true. What would the folks around me act like if I’d lost the skills that made me useful? Would these women, women I’d stuck by, do the same if I got a pass to freedom?

Would they support me and celebrate it? Would they cheer and give me guidance on how I could achieve my dreams?

Or . . .

Was I only good for one thing? Would they be irritated that I couldn’t make life more convenient for them? Would they support me then or would they walk away?