So the poll was split with half of you wanting to wait and half wanting the exclusive online version. Thank you to everyone who dropped in to let me know what you thought and for letting me know you enjoyed Renee and Frei’s series. It really helps to know that you liked it.
For those who wanted to wait for the published version:
I’m making sure you can still pop in and read my blog and have updates. All Full Circle excerpts will start below the letter from Nan with ‘No peeking, Shortstop’ on it.
I’d also like your thoughts on if you want an alternative weekly scene by scene story to enjoy from a new project, whether you want a new Aeron related story, or neither.
Thank you! I really did appreciate your thoughts.
For those who wanted exclusive Aeron…
Thank you for being very excited about having a sneak peak. Along with the scene, I’m going to give you little snippets about how I felt when I wrote them and my thoughts. (It might make you yawn but please humour me.)
I felt quite emotional when I started writing this scene (I began writing it in 2018) and, as always with Aeron’s opening, I have the challenge of trying to sum up the series for any reader starting on this book whilst updating readers who followed the series… and… set up the theme of the book. It always goes by the reading Aeron uses (which also sits at the front of the book) which is:
“Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.” —Matthew 9:22 [NIV]
So, Full Circle’s theme is all about healing… and, Aeron, is definitely in need of some…
Full Circle exclusive.
Copyright © 2021 Jody Klaire.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any means, electronic or mechanical without permission in writing from the author and publisher.
Please note: all scenes are the intellectual property of the author and that online exclusive scenes may differ from the published version.
Every journey tells a story.
My own journey had been a twisting one full of bumps and bruises, love and light. It hadn’t been easy but then I was certain now that nobody’s story was simple or without its troubles. It was less ‘bout what you went through an’ more ‘bout how you looked at it.
I’d been lonely for a good while. I got locked up at sixteen for a crime I thought I’d committed and taken full responsibility for. I’d been full of guilt and loss ‘cause I believed I was at fault for my best friend, Sam’s, little brother getting hurt an’ I still blamed myself even now I knew Sam had hurt him.
Ten years inside, plus a little extra in Serenity Hills Institution and I wasn’t a kid no more… at least in body. I’d been tormented by burdens ‘cause I was an empath able to see the past and present of folks around me. I could read their moods and read their jewelry, and could even displace their ailments when they asked but I didn’t want those burdens, nuh uh, so I ignored them and, without nobody to help in Serenity, me and my fellow inmates got experimented on; Some inmates lost their minds altogether and became “fury fiends.”
I was close to being just like them but where there are bumps, you find buddies, and I’d loved my buddies inside. Protecting them gave me enough reason to keep holding on.
Yeah, bumps and buddies. I’d learned that you ain’t ever alone. Your road ain’t ever a single track, it’s just sometimes we’re all too set on our own pain to glance over and find a friend.
I got released at nearly twenty seven, thanks to some buddies called Ursula Frei, Susan Gossett, and Renee Black but then was targeted by Sam who wanted me to take the blame for his crimes. He’d hurt people in ways I didn’t bear to think on and it was only me and those burdens I tried to hide between him and hurting my half-sisters and Dad. In helping, I’d hurt Sam and it still pained me… but that’s when my journey headed up a whole new mountain.
I’d discovered and re-discovered family: my estranged dad became a guy who risked his life to save me; my absent mom became a hero who’d broken her own heart to help others; my aunt who had lost three husbands yet won a whole host of medals became the gun-toting hero I depended on so much to get me out of pickles… and, of course, there was Nan who was all angel and had become a guide I could count on when I needed her most.
You see, I’d gone from ex-con to an elite lumbering dimwit——come protection officer——with the Criminal Investigations Group. I still don’t got one iota why anybody let me in or why they kept rescuing my dumb butt an’ I still ain’t sure why they believed in me but it meant so much that I could help.
With CIG, I’d helped rescue folks in a Colorado town from a military grade lunatic; helped bring down a slave academy in Texas, then another in Europe, then busted out three generations of one family from slavery and liberated a whole host more. I’d made more buddies to fill up my heart; in particular, a little guy called Zack who I loved like he was my own. He was some mini-hero too.
Then, there was Ursula and her family, and even though we hadn’t really been friends first of all, she was as close to me as a buddy could get but she inspired me just as much. I trusted her enough to confide I was kinda getting confused ‘bout my feelings… I weren’t meant to get feelings… and she’d fixed her icy blues on me and told me to kiss that particular person when they slept ‘cause that way I know if I was truly feeling for myself.
I guess it ain’t surprising that it had been my heart thudding ‘cause Renee, every feisty heroic, loyal, maddening, confusing, indescribably beautiful inch of her had walked right on into my heart, knocked it sideways, and told it to go bench-press any ideas of thinkin’ on anyone else.
Still, I was getting sick an’ I’d been told by Nan that I couldn’t go displacing no more ailments, only Renee an’ I got myself in a pickle up on Black Ridge mountain and we were trapped, running from hostiles who had us pinned down, wounded, exhausted… and Renee had been hit.
My heart was wriggling an’ I understood why she’d been able to reach me, and to know that there was no way I could let her bleed when I could fix it.
I loved her. They’d been my feelings. I really did love her and I was getting her off that mountain… so I’d kissed her and taken all those wounds away; I’d kissed her and sent my heart thudding enough that even taking a river ride couldn’t Frei-speed it as much. I got her off the mountain but I didn’t need be nowhere near Renee to know that she was gonna beat my hind blue for helping her. She loved somebody else but that kiss kept swimming through my head and my heart was set on making sure she was safe.
You see, we learned Renee’s father and brother didn’t get lost but killed up on Black Ridge Mountain; we’d learned that CIG had been attacked by somebody crooked from the FBI and they’d wanted Renee lost on the mountain top too. Renee was being targeted because she’d defended me to the authorities way back when Sam had been framing me.
Now, Renee was in a pickle for helping me and I was trapped back in the same institution I’d been freed from. I had evidence to get to Renee and Frei. They needed me. I was a protection officer now and my buddies needed protection.
My name is Aeron Lorelei and, at twenty nine, this elite dimwit was right back where I started in fading health but in strengthening heart. I had some protecting to do.
And, if there was one thing I’d learned from my journey so far, it was that when love had an idea in its head, it was more stubborn than Mrs. Squirrel on a nut stash… A bit like me.