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First Chapter Reveal: ’89 Walls by Katie Pierson

'89 WallsTitle: ’89 Walls
Author: Katie Pierson
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Pages: 240
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Paperback

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity.

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.

For More Information

First Chapter:

Quinn stood in the tiled foyer of her silent house, breathing in the soothing smell of Pledge dusting spray that the cleaning lady left behind. She tossed her backpack and jean jacket onto a dining room chair, and headed for the sunlit kitchen. Bypassing the colander of green grapes by the sink, she picked through the snack bowl and settled on a half sleeve of Ritz crackers. She found a block of cheddar in the fridge. She stood at the butcher block, slicing the cheese and making tiny sandwiches.

After her snack, she gripped the oiled banister and took the stairs two at a time. At the top, she could practically taste the smell of clean laundry. She went to claim her stack. Her mom did the folding while returning phone calls but drew the line at putting the clothes back in their drawers.

“I’m not your maid,” Quinn had heard her say, ad nauseam.

Quinn pushed herself up onto the washing machine’s smooth surface and dialed the number for her sister, Sarah. As the phone rang, she wrapped the phone’s coiled cord around her forearm, poking white dots onto her skin between the black rings of stretchy plastic. She’d learned to avoid getting banished to the living room phone by unwrapping the cord slowly: if she unwrapped it too fast, she’d leave an ugly kink in the spiral. Her mom hated it when she did that.

“Hello?” Sarah said.

“It’s me,” said Quinn. “I was wondering if you could come over for a food fight.”

“How about a midnight run to the U-Stop? I could go for a blue raspberry ICEE.”

“I’d kill right now for some sour cream and cheddar potato chips. Mom’s starving us out with grainy wholesome goodness.”

Sarah had moved to New York two years ago. The bathroom the two of them once shared seemed stark without Sarah’s sweaty leotards wadded in the corners. She had attended a local community college for four months before dropping out to start a dance career. She probably still got an allowance. Quinn missed her, but in a twisty, relieved sort of way. The guilty weight of being the successful daughter, the one without dyslexia (and possibly even her dad’s favorite) hadn’t lifted until Sarah had sailed out the door.

“Jason and I started having sex,” Quinn said.

“What? Why?”

“I don’t know. Why does anyone have sex? I couldn’t come up with a good reason to keep saying no. We’ve been together since November.”

“Hitting the five-month mark doesn’t sound like a good reason to say yes.”

Quinn could hear Sarah frowning. “I’m not saying we’re not in love or anything. We’re in lust.”

“So the sex is good then?”


“God, Quinn, can you hear yourself? Don’t do it. You’re not ready.”

Usually, Sarah could boost Quinn’s confidence with her signature blasts of praise and loyalty. When Quinn had fretted about getting into colleges, Sarah had shaken her head at her like Quinn was smoking crack. “Of course you’ll get in,” she’d said. End of discussion. Sarah also knew things about guys. She split them into two essential groups—princes and toads—usually within thirty seconds of meeting them.

“I already did it,” Quinn said. “That horse is out of the gate, so to speak. Besides, what do you mean good?”

“Fun. Hot. Cuddly. Thrilling. Is that what it’s like?”

They’d only done it a few times. But no, it wasn’t. Jason was a great kisser, or used to be back when they did a lot of kissing. But kissing had dropped down on the priority list. And the actual sex part—once the novelty factor wore off—seemed like more trouble and mess than it was worth.

“I guess Jason thinks it is.”

“He’s still hot, huh?”


The first time Quinn met Jason, she and her friend Ilene had competed against him and another guy in a tournament. Quinn and Ilene could tell that they’d lost that round before the judge even posted her results.

“That was a fucking train wreck,” Ilene said, shaking her head.

Quinn smiled. She used to be intimidated by her new debate partner’s self-contained, perfectionist brilliance. Now, when Ilene let fly with one of her sarcastic profanity bombs, it felt like insider intel on their real friendship.

Jason and his partner, apparently, also knew already that they’d won the round. They did a quiet high five.

Quinn shoved her files into her briefcase, then sat back in her chair, trying not to pout on the outside.

Jason crossed the room. He held out his palms out in silent repentance. His wry smile tried to apologize for his disarming, Indian gorgeousness, but Quinn ignored him. Having been dumped publicly a few weeks earlier by Chris, a fast-talking brainiac from Omaha, Quinn was done with debate guys. They were fun to sneak a cigarette with between rounds, but deep down, they were socially retarded and had hearts of stone.

But Jason sat right on her desk. This made him harder to ignore. Then he took the fountain pen she was twirling between her fingers and tossed it in the air. As Quinn stood and caught it, she accidentally-on-purpose shoved him off the desk. He just barely managed to keep his footing. Widening his eyes but not taking them off hers, he laughed. Then he held out his hand.

“I’m Jason Singh.”

She raised an eyebrow and suppressed her smile as long as she could, like she hadn’t already made up her mind.

“Quinn Ganey.”

She’d expected her parents to mention the race thing, but her dad only mused that some of the best scientists in the world were Asians. (Quinn learned later that Mrs. Singh was a hematologist.) Her father had offered a similar, admiring non sequitur when Quinn broke up with Evan Schwartz in ninth grade, something about the Jews one day taking over the world.

“Still, I don’t care how beautiful he is,” Sarah said now. “You should hold out for good sex.”

“I can’t suddenly change my mind.”

“Why not? Is there an official sex rulebook? Go back to oral.”

“He doesn’t like it.” Quinn heard silence on the other end of the line.

“I don’t understand.”

“I mean he only likes it when I do it. Not the other way around.”

Sarah snorted. “That’s pathetic, Quinn. What are you, a battered wife or something? I say that, of course, in the nicest, most loving possible way.”

“And yet I take that as a messed-up, mixed message, Sarah. And I mean that in the most mind-your-own-business possible way.”

“Hey, you’re the one who called me.” Sarah had a point there. “Just wait. For now, you should stick to having sex with yourself.”

“Ew,” Quinn whined.

“Oh, please. Everyone does it, including you. ” That was another fair point.

After hanging up with Sarah, Quinn took her stack of clean clothes to her room. She heaped it on her desk chair and closed the heavy door. Her bedroom was a time capsule from her misguided ninth-grade mauve phase. Only her new Macintosh II and printer, with its trail of continuous-feed paper, offered a clue that a near adult lived here. Flopping on her bed, Quinn kicked off her pointy flats. She rubbed the beginnings of another itchy blister. Wearing socks with flats only made sense if you didn’t have a problem with social death.

Her room overlooked the front yard. Or it would until the Japanese maple leafed out and blocked her view. In the summer, she didn’t even pull her curtains. Last night, the moon had hovered full and low between the budding branches. She’d heaved open the window next to her bed. She could smell that her dad had been raking. Eyes closed, she’d breathed in the perfume of damp dirt shedding its winter layers of leaf mulch. It made her want to do some shedding of her own, to rip off a Band-Aid or cut her hair or do something shocking to her sweet, precious wallpaper.

Prince, Madonna, and Duran Duran glowered out at her from their posters on the wall as if they, too, chafed under their oppressively ninth-grade surroundings. Quinn pressed on one of the puffy square baffles on her mauve bedspread. When she slid her fingers over to the next one, she snagged a fresh hangnail on a loop of clear thread.

She sighed. Last night, Jason had asked her to his prom. He wanted to go with his squirrely pot-smoking friends and their dates—then rent a hotel room. Quinn thought about her conversation with Sarah just now. If she and Jason rented a hotel room, would they have good sex or just sex? And how the hell would she know the difference? She sighed again and started her homework.

The next afternoon, Quinn stood at her locker and tucked in the white cotton strap of her bra. It had sneaked beyond the boundaries of her sleeveless sundress and bugged her all day. She liked how the dial on her locker’s padlock kind of twirled itself, how the lock released with a pleasing thunk. She smoothed her hair behind her ears.

Terrence—whom she’d known since kindergarten—half strutted, half bounced to his locker on Quinn’s right. He nodded a greeting down to her but directed his opening volley over her head to the guy opening the locker on her left.

“Yo, man, this girl was all over me,” he said. “I’m telling her, ‘This is my little brother’s recital, a’right?’” He primped his oiled curls with one hand and spun his lock with the other.

The dim fluorescent lighting in the second-floor hallway made the other guy’s red hair look even redder. He rolled his eyes at Terrence but said nothing. His asymmetrical flop hairdo screamed 1986. This was 1989.

Quinn returned Terrence’s smile, yawning as she opened her locker. It was April of her senior year; at this point, she was a tolerant but bored bystander in this mildly amusing testosterone war. Terrence caught his cardboard breakdancing mat as it sprung out of his locker. Quinn knelt on the marble floor and pried a notebook from the bottom shelf of hers. The lock caught with a bump of her hip as she stood up. She dodged her way through the hallway traffic.

The stalls, floor tiles, and walls of the girls’ room rocked the same relentless hue of hospital green, inflicting a universally unflattering glare on all who entered. Quinn headed for a toilet. She’d drank a huge Diet Coke with lunch.

From her stall, Quinn heard her best friend, Trish, demand of her from the sinks, “Do I look like someone who does crepe paper?”

They met here every day at the same time. Quinn could picture Trish standing with one hand on her narrow hip. The other would be raised as if to say, “What?” She was bitching about her latest run-in with the office secretary/prom-committee advisor. The secretary was outflanked; she just didn’t know it yet.

Trish and Quinn’s mutual, total failure to do a flexed-arm hang for the Presidential Physical Fitness Test had sealed their friendship in seventh grade. Trish had observed out loud that only stupid people hung from a metal bar on purpose. This was a revelation to Quinn. And unlike Quinn, Trish had been tested for real. Trish’s dad had just moved out. Her family-minus-one was renting what would become a series of apartments in a sun-baked complex near Highway 2. Sooner or later the neighbors always complained about the kid noise. Then Trish and her mom would carry their stuff down two floors or over one building. Quinn had spent her junior high years eating M&M’s at track meets with her older sister and parents and taking private piano lessons. Trish, meanwhile, had been supervising her little brothers’ homework and making scrambled eggs for dinner. Quinn remembered Trish’s mom creeping around the apartment in her sweatpants after work, looking like a weepy volunteer for an experiment in sleep deprivation.

In ninth grade, though, Trish’s mom married a real estate developer. He moved the family into a big new house with pillars. Now that Trish had landed the part she’d always meant to play, she acted it out daily in full costume. Once, Quinn teased her about her conversion to the church of Ralph Lauren. Trish had put her fingers in her ears like the manic television icon, Pee-wee Herman: “La, la, la! I can’t hear you!” The real Trish was still there, though. She was still flip, still funny, still the unflappable arbiter of cool. Sometimes Trish’s enveloping audacity was the only thing that kept Quinn from evaporating into thin air.

As Trish addressed the perma-wedgie situation caused by her new Guess jeans, Quinn washed her hands with the dispenser’s last few grains of powdered soap. She frowned. How could Trish look self-possessed even with her forearms down the back of her pants? The problem with being friends with audacious people was that it made you see your own fraudulence more clearly.

She faced her reflection as she rinsed off the non-suds left by the industrial soap. “A quiet beauty,” her dad called her. She’d rather be a loud one. Her breasts were okay, but who would know besides Jason? Her parents, especially her dad, didn’t let her wear anything tight or revealing. Quinn’s fine brown hair refused to be styled, so she wore it parted on the side. It bored her to even think about it. Trish caught her eye and, as usual, read her mind.

“If you spent some of your humongous allowance on funner clothes, you wouldn’t mind having boring hair.”

Quinn made a face at her. Trish knew why Quinn saved her spending money: her parents expected her to pay for a full semester plus books at George Washington University next year.

“Funner’s not a word,” Quinn said, probing a subterranean zit. The light-blue eyes that looked back from the mirror were her father’s and a million other Irish family members’. They smiled even when her mouth didn’t. They also kept a polite distance; even with nice breasts, no one would ever mistake her for a cheerleader.


In the Spotlight: Aeromancist by Charmaine Pauls

About The Book


Title: Aeromancist

Book 2: Seven Forbidden Arts Series

Author: Charmaine Pauls

Publisher: Mélange Books

Publication Date: July 6, 2015

Pages: 284

ASIN: B010766W5S

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance

Format: eBook / ePub / PDF
Preorder Book Buy Links: Publication Date: July 6, 2015

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Aeromancist-Seven-Forbidden-Arts-Book-ebook/dp/B010766W5S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1435679181&sr=1-1&keywords=aeromancist+charmaine+pauls

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/aeromancist-charmaine-pauls/1122220463?ean=2940151997492

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/554077

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25809530-aeromancist?ac=1

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Book Description:

Passion always comes with a price.

All he could offer was thirty days of passion.

He condemned her to a terrible fate instead.

Now he’ll do everything in his power to save her.

He is known as the Weatherman. Lann Dréan is the last of his kind. A price on his head, chased for a power he should not possess, he can’t promise any woman forever. All he can offer Katherine White is thirty days of passion. But his uncontainable desire comes with an unforeseen price. Lann’s lust will cost Kat everything. Now he’ll do anything to save her from the fate he has brought upon her.

* This book contains adult content with explicit language and frequent, consummated love scenes, including light bondage, sex toys and breath play. Reader discretion is advised.
Book Excerpt:

From the expression on Lann’s face, Kat knew he hadn’t expected her. Alfonso hadn’t warned him of her visit. Lann sat behind his desk, very similar to the first time they had met, but this time he was in the library, and not in his office. He had probably been working on the restoration of his ancient books, because he wore his glasses. Removing them, he immediately got to his feet. The air felt lighter, as it always did in his presence. Wisps of her hair lifted as if to an invisible caress, but Lann didn’t acknowledge the subtle dance of molecules this time.
As always he looked impeccable in tailored pants and a white dress shirt. He stood immobile, exerting calm, waiting for her to make the first move. Kat had never been fooled about the latent danger that lurked under his quiet sophistication
and intellectual air. There was a raw energy about Lann that hinted at his wildness, even as his exterior was polished civility.
“Alfonso showed me in,” she said.
His lips lifted in the corner, exposing his dimple.
Her heart broke at his smile. It was the one he reserved for other people. Never
for her. It was automatic, a practiced social stance, and she hated it.
Hers was faint in return. She glanced at the employees who were handling his books
with protective gloves. “May we speak in private, please?”
He frowned. “Let’s go to my office.”
He led the way. At least he hadn’t thrown her out on sight. She was walking the
familiar path she believed she’d never walk again. The air gathered around his
ankles as he moved, lapping at her feet as she followed in his wake. She had
never felt it stronger, and yet, it should have been the reverse. She was
supposed to be cutting the tie, not strengthening it, dammit.
Inside his office he almost took a military stance, his shoulders straight, his arms
behind his back, as if keeping them there would prevent him from touching her.
But his eyes were filled with warmth and concern.
“Katherine, I didn’t tell you I was back because I didn’t want to make it harder on you.”
He didn’t owe her an explanation. She agreed to his terms. With her eyes wide
“I came back to take care of the money,” he continued. “When Alfonso told me you
returned everything–”
“I don’t want your money.”
“You can live in comfort. Why struggle, if I have enough to share?”
“Because it wasn’t part of our agreement,” she snapped. She took a calming breath. “Because
it’ll make me feel like a prostitute.”
His expression was incredulous as he considered the statement, but after a moment
he inclined his head. “Of course. I respect your decision.”
She chewed her lip, thinking of the best way to tell him. Hadn’t she practiced
her line a million times? “I wouldn’t have broken our agreement if it wasn’t
He stared at her expectantly. There was no easy way to break the news.
“I’m pregnant.”
He froze. The heat evaporated from his gaze. His upper arms flexed as he clasped
his hands behind his back. She couldn’t tell if he was mad or disappointed.
Either way, neither was the reaction she was hoping for.
The silence stretched between them. For a while he seemed incapable of speaking or
moving. Only his eyes lowered and rested on her abdomen.
“It’s impossible,” he finally said.
She opened her handbag, retrieved the blood test results and offered it to him
shakily. Lann lifted one hand from behind his back and took the piece of paper.
Kat watched him closely as he read it. His eyes widened and narrowed again. She
presumed he was looking at the age of the child growing inside of her, doing
the calculation in his mind. Emotions she couldn’t place played across his
face. Was it sadness, envy, anger that made him press his lips so tightly
together? Finally, he lifted his head. She didn’t like the way he looked at
He handed her back the report. “Congratulations.” His voice was impersonal. “Who’s
the father?”
The words punched the air from Kat’s lungs with the same ferocity as when he had
cut her airflow during lovemaking. Then it had given her an earth-shattering
orgasm. Now it caused her pain, with the same intensity. She couldn’t believe
he said that. Hurt and anger blurred her vision. She drew back her hand, and
before she could stop herself, she slapped him. She took a step away from him,
biting back the tears. The trace of her fingers lay red across his pale cheek.
Lann accepted her abuse with a stoic expression, without uttering a word.
“You bastard,” she whispered. “You needn’t feign your innocence by insulting me. Are
you afraid I’ll ask you for child support? Do you think I expect you to play an
unwilling role in this baby’s life? Maybe you think I’ll try to emotionally
blackmail you into marrying me.” She clutched her bag to her chest like a
shield. “I didn’t come here expecting anything from you. I want nothing. I only
came because you had a right to know.” She took a ragged breath. “And to ask
why you lied to me.”
When he still didn’t speak, she nodded slowly, the unwelcome tears threatening to
find their way to her cheeks. He wasn’t going to offer any explanation, any
solace, any excuse.
“I see,” she said. “Then we have nothing more to say to each other.”
She turned for the door, but Lann’s voice halted her. “Please stay. You’re upset.
I’ll take you home when you feel calmer.”
To her dismay, a small gasp escaped her. Did he honestly think she’d stay after
what he just said? Not looking back, she ran downstairs, not caring that Lann
was calling after her loud enough for the building to hear, or that his
employees were staring at her from the library window.


About The Author

Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.

After relocating to France with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published six novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles.

When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in Chile with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.

Read more about Charmaine’s romance novels and psychological short stories here on www.charmainepauls.com.
Contact Charmaine at:

Website: www.charmainepauls.com

Blog: www.charmainepauls.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Charmaine-Pauls/175738829145132

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharmainePauls

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AuthorCharmainePauls

Contest Giveaway
Enter To Win Throughout The Tour!
The prizes include:
a set of 5 antiqued silver bookmarks,
a paperback copy of Aeromancist
and eBooks of the preceding books in the series:
Loving the Enemy, Pyromancist, and Aeromancist, The Beginning


Virtual Book Tour Page




Interview with ‘No Bull Information’ Dr. John Gamble

Dr. James Gamble 2Dr. John Gamble is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Law at Penn State’s Behrend College in Erie and Director of Honors Programs. He is the author of approximately 100 publications and recently won Penn State’s most prestigious award for teaching, the Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Dr. Gamble has stuttered all of his life. As a result, he believes words are precious and should not be taken for granted; this motivated him to write NO BULL INFORMATION. His dream for the book is that parents and grandparents will teach their children and grandchildren NBI techniques and demand clear, concise information from political leaders and service and product providers.

For More Information

About the Book:

In his new book, NO BULL INFORMATION, Dr. John Gamble challenges readers to confront the Information Age by abandoning simplistic thinking and taking a measured approach that requires asking questions to analyze and No Bull Informationunderstand complicated issues, to identify and avoid word traps, and to effectively dissect and comprehend numbers frequently used to confuse voters and consumers.

Gamble uses humor and a wise cartoon character, Arnbi, to guide the reader through the maze of political doublespeak, expert-celebrity pitches of products, and healthcare options, among other issues.

With a focus on helping Americans to become better prepared to deal with the massive amounts of information that they face on a daily basis, NO BULL INFORMATION (NBI) instructs readers in developing “a new type of literacy.” NBI seeks to create an educated citizenry that can sift through information, identify the facts, and determine the best way to manage those facts. Gamble asserts that the super citizens who accept the challenge of NBI will make better decisions, which will lead to a reduction in financial disasters and government inefficiency.

Gamble’s cartoon sidekick, Arnbi, supports the NBI movement by offering targeted advice that summarizes many of the key principles outlined in NO BULL INFORMATION, including:

  • Too bad, but “simple” is a square peg that seldom fits into the round hole that is our modern world.
  • Facts are necessary but they must be put into context (PUTFiC).
  • Vested interests are everywhere—recognize them.

Breaking down words and numbers is the foundation of NBI. In one section of the book, Gamble walks the reader through a basic lesson in understanding percentages and statistics. “You need to understand numbers enough not to be deceived.” In one intriguing illustration, Gamble compares the Pentagon’s budget of $700 billion to a two-liter bottle and a proposed $20 million in spending to one drop of water from an eyedropper placed in that bottle. “It is a helpful strategy for understanding large numbers that are thrown at us every day by politicians and salespeople.”

Stressing the necessity of analytical thinking, Gamble explores the use of words in “bull-laden” information and the need to guard against what the author calls “landmine words and phrases”; for example, quite frankly, my good friend, clinical studies prove, award winning, and as seen on TV.

Gamble uses guidance survey and focus cards to demonstrate how readers can practice NBI in their daily lives. The cards cover nine areas each (Survey cards: sampling, word warnings, vested interests, etc. Focus cards: infomercials, supermarkets, credit, etc.). The cards include questions that help the reader to analyze a particular situation (buying a new cell phone, for example) and offer guidance for making decisions.

“I have been a college professor for more than thirty years. I am convinced that there are serious problems with the way information is presented and understood,” Gamble says. “This affects all Americans. I am writing for and to them.”

The idea for NO BULL INFORMATION came to Gamble about ten years ago as he observed the difficulty his Penn State undergraduate students were having adjusting to the Information Age. “NBI was inspired by hundreds of students in scores of classes I have taught. It was an iterative process: a class inspired an idea for NBI that I took back to class to test before including it in the book.”

Gamble believes that people who read NO BULL INFORMATION will “gain a sense of empowerment, like a life preserver when we feel we are drowning in a mass of information.”

For More Information

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, John. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

I guess I am a weird bird. As a college professor, I’ve published a number of books and articles, all with established, conventional houses. My current endeavor, No Bull Informational, is published by Morgan•James, a different kind of publisher.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

My earlier academic-oriented works usually got accepted very quickly. NBI took longer.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

With Morgan•James, things went quickly because the book was essentially finished when I singed he contract.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

When I was beginning as a professor (more than 30 years ago), I was unsure whether I could succeed in the profession I had chosen. Publishing was essential to promotion and tenure in the kind of universities in which I wanted to work. So I was happy and relieved when I began to believe I could pursue the career I had chosen.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

Again, I first was published in the 1970s. I allowed myself a few weeks of self-satisfaction but then worked into the mode where I realized research, writing and publishing were going to be continuous part of my life.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

Since I have had tenure for years and Penn State has awarded me the title of “Distinguished Professor,” I have the opportunity to try different things, to take risks, to look for linkages between my teaching and research. That is what I have done in NBI.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

The publishing industry has been transformed by the information age. There are more things published by any measure we use. With “self publishing” and related outlets, it is easier and cheaper to get work published but there is so much available, it is more difficult for readers to find you, to discover a golden needle is a massive haystack

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

I suspect I am unusual in my answer. For me, especially with the NBI book, it is seeing things come together after a long, arduous process. And it’s seeing my Penn State students taking the advice offered in NBI.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Keep at it. Understand and think seriously about criticisms offered. But don’t take criticism personally and remember there will be sages and fools among your critics. Finally, don’t overlook a huge factor, one that is unfair and over which you have limited control— luck.


Book Cover Reveal: Aeromancist by Charmaine Pauls

About The Book

Title:  Aeromancist

Book 3: Seven Forbidden Arts Series

Author: Charmaine Pauls
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Publisher:  Mélange Books
Publication Date: July 6, 2015

Preorder Book Buy Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Aeromancist-Seven-Forbidden-Arts-Book-ebook/dp/B010766W5S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1435450290&sr=1-1&keywords=aeromancist


Book Description:

Passion always comes with a price.

All he could offer was thirty days of passion.

He condemned her to a terrible fate instead.

Now he’ll do everything in his power to save her.

He is known as the Weatherman. Lann Dréan is the last of his kind. A price on his head, chased for a power he should not possess, he can’t promise any woman forever. All he can offer Katherine White is thirty days of passion. But his uncontainable desire comes with an unforeseen price. Lann’s lust will cost Kat everything. Now he’ll do anything to save her from the fate he has brought upon her.

* This book contains adult content with explicit language and frequent, consummated love scenes, including light bondage, sex toys and breath play. Reader discretion is advised.


About The Author

Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.

After relocating to France with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published six novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles.

When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in Chile with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.

Read more about Charmaine’s romance novels and psychological short stories here on www.charmainepauls.com.

Contact Charmaine at:

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Tickling: Such a Powerful Word by Veronica Frances

Let's Talk About Tickling 2Tickling: Such A Powerful Word

By Veronica Frances

Tickling—such a powerful word. To most people, tickling is just a mere word, an afterthought. Pianists like to tickle the ivories. Perhaps one is tickled to hear such happy news. For somebody with a tickling fetish, tickling is anything but an afterthought.

For someone with a tickling fetish, it is difficult to understand how people are so unaware of the power of tickling. Tickle fetishists find it hard to fathom that people are generally quite nonchalant about tickling, or just don’t think about it one way or another. What’s the big deal about tickling? It is simply an annoyance that can be fun for only a few minutes at a time. Those are the thoughts that many people have about tickling. It is difficult for non-tickle fetishists to understand how somebody could love tickling so much, to the point where it can sometimes become an obsession.

The truth is anything can become an obsession. A love of tickling does not have to be an obsession, but it can be a very powerful fetish. Tickling is powerful in so many ways. That is why so many people avoid it and even hate it. Some of us even love to hate it, loving it and hating it at the same time. Tickling confuses people and frightens those who have a deep fear of losing control. The confusion comes from the way in which tickling can escalate, beginning as such a delightful, erotic sensation and becoming torturous or extremely intense very quickly.

The word tickling and any form of that word holds tremendous power all on its own, especially for those of us who are deeply affected by it. It is sort of like when a dog hears something that others can’t, or when you say the word walk and the dog reacts with such excitement, their ears standing straight up at attention. For a dog, the word walk will make them react with passion and exuberance.

Dogs will also react to sounds that humans do not always hear. Non-tickle fetishists cannot hear the hidden power behind the word tickling the way someone who loves tickling most certainly can. When tickle fetishists hear the word tickle or any form of the word, they react internally and sometimes even find it difficult to hide their delight and the fact that the word even makes them blush at times.

For many tickle-fetishists, any form of the word tickle excites them. Most people with a tickling fetish cannot hear the word tickle and not feel that strange twinge in their body. For the true tickle fetishist, the word tickle puts a bounce in their step and makes them feel just a bit more alive.

But tickling is so much more than a word. It is a feeling, a response, a vulnerability, a powerful kick in the libido and, for many, it is something to avoid. Tickling is scary to some people because it is a straight dive right into the pool of surrender and vulnerability. It can feel pleasurable, but it can also feel uncomfortable and maybe even slightly painful. Pleasure and discomfort do meet up sometimes when it comes to tickling. Tickling can be a place of mixed emotions and reactions.

The tickling fetish can force people to explore their sensuality and all the pleasures and discomforts that come with it. It is so powerful when someone who loves tickling allows themselves to find pleasure from the different sensations that tickling can cause, even if there is some minor discomfort for those who are extremely ticklish. Sensuality is really about exploration and once we stop exploring, our relationships and sensuality suffer.

So, we must admit that tickling has power over us, or else why would we react so passionately to it? I mean, people either hate it passionately, love it passionately, or say that it doesn’t affect them one way or another.

I received a review of my novel Tickling Daphne H. from a woman who personalized her own uptight feelings about tickling in the review. She put on this pair of boxing gloves that really made me see how uptight tickling can make some people. The truth is, she was uptight well before reading my novel. She basically forbade her husband from tickling her or doing any of the wild things in my book. She thought that tickling couldn’t possibly be fun and she would smack her husband if he ever tried that stuff with her.

I remember thinking, Now here is a woman who needs a good tickling, perhaps a spanking as well. I wondered how uptight she actually was with her husband and if he perhaps secretly wanted to loosen her up a bit and teach her a thing or two by tickling her all over her uptight body.

The point is, her reaction to my book was a passionate one and truthfully, tickling does tend to cause differing, passionate reactions in people.

Yes, we each have our own reactions to tickling, but if we suddenly find ourselves with a partner who has a tickling fetish, or if we are facing a tickling fetish ourselves, we must explore those reactions and discover that tickling is not just a mere word after all. For some people, it is a necessary part of life.

Copyright © 2015 Veronica Frances

About the Author:

Veronica FrancesVeronica Frances is the author of the gutsy, no-holds-barred novel, Tickling Daphne H. Her new non-fiction book Let’s Talk About Tickling sheds a refreshing new light on the subject. She is known as the TickleWriter in some circles.

Veronica also writes under her real name, Stacey Handler. Stacey is the author of The Body Burden; Living In The Shadow Of Barbie. Her book was featured in Jump Magazine, Australian Women’s Weekly, The National Enquirer, and several other publications, radio shows and cable TV shows.

Stacey excels at public speaking, singing, composing, and writing. She is a singer-songwriter, poet, and has written in many different styles. She has an album and several singles available, including her two popular anthems, Ain’t No Skinny Little Thing and Soap Opera Diva.

She lives in New York City, where she continues to write erotica, fiction, poetry and non-fiction.

For More Information

Interview with angel expert & children’s book author Michelle Beber

Michelle Beber has certifications as an Angel Intuitive and Angel Oracle Card Reader from renowned “angel lady,” Doreen Virtue, as well as certifications as a Spiritual Teacher and Archangel Life Coach from Doreen’s son, Charles Michelle BeberVirtue.

In 2008, Michelle’s life changed when she attended a spiritual retreat and learned about angels and how they communicate through repetitive number sequences known as “angel numbers.” Little did she know that this insight would lead her on an amazing spiritual journey that would directly connect her with angels and result in the discovery of her life purpose.

Always grateful for the spiritual guidance she has received, Michelle looks forward to sharing the knowledge she has gained to inspire others, especially children. Michelle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Her latest book is the juvenile fiction/children’s picture book, Angels, Angels, Everywhere.

For More Information

About the Book:

Angels Angels Everywhere 2Title: Angels, Angels, Everywhere
Author: Michelle Beber
Publisher: Balboa Press
Pages: 30
Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Children’s Picture Book
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook

Angels, Angels, Everywhere is a non-denominational, multiracial book written in delightful rhythm and rhyme and accompanied by charming illustrations. The themes of constant support and unconditional love are designed to help children deal with everyday experiences in life.

By developing children’s faith in knowing that they are not alone and building their trust that they are consistently watched over, cared for, and loved, children will become empowered to deal with life’s challenges. The book also lets children know that angels are there in good times as well, sharing in their joy.

For More Information

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Michelle Beber. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Angels, Angels, Everywhere is my first published book.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I chose to self-publish with vanity publisher, Balboa Press, the self-publishing division of Hay House Publishing, because I wanted to align myself with a company who had the same spiritual and metaphysical philosophy as mine. There are many options available to writers, and I recommend that authors do a lot of research to determine which choice is best for their particular circumstances.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

It took nine months, just like having a baby! This was definitely “the birth of my first child.” It would’ve taken less time if I wasn’t such a perfectionist, but I was more interested in having a quality product versus rushing it into the marketplace.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It was amazing! I’ll never forget holding the book in my hands for the first time. It was an incredible feeling to see all the hard work that I’d put into something become a reality. I danced around the living room with my book in my hands, saying, “I did it! It’s real!”

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

It seemed like I did so many things at once, it’s hard to recall, but it was probably setting up my Amazon Author Central page. Setting up that page was highly recommended since Amazon is the largest retailer of books in the world.

At that time, I was also looking into website development and setting up my social media accounts. Needless to say, you must have an online presence.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I have a much better understanding of what it takes to put a book together and have learned that the production of the book was the easy part. The hardest part begins after the book is printed. Whether you publish traditionally or independently, you will need to do your own marketing and promotion, so be prepared to put in the necessary time and effort because your book will only be as successful as you make it.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

What has amazed me is the vast amount of supportive organizations out there to help authors learn and grow. I’m a member of the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and have found their workshops very helpful. If you do a Google search, you can find lots of beneficial networking groups, seminars, workshops, and conferences.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

The most rewarding thing about being a published author is reading the beautiful reviews that people have left about my book. It’s so heartwarming to know that I’ve had a positive impact on people’s lives, especially children.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Never give up! If you’re passionate about writing, don’t let anything stop you from achieving your dream. It’s what you were meant to do. Stay positive, work hard, and have patience. It can take a long time to put your book into the marketplace, but once you do, it’s the most gratifying feeling you’ll ever have. And finally, don’t forget to ask the angels for help!


Book Feature: From New York to the Smokies by Wayne Zurl


About The Anthology Collection



Title: From New York To The Smokies
Author: Wayne Zurl
Series: 5 Book Anthology Collection from the Sam Jenkins Mystery Series
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC
Publication Date: April 16, 2015
Format: Paperback – 163 pages / eBook / PDF
ISBN: 978-1680460780
Genre: Mystery / Police Procedural
Buy The Anthology Collection (Preorder – Pub Date: April 16, 2015)
Book Description:
Author Wayne Zurl is back with his popular Sam Jenkins Mysteries Series. From New York To The Smokies is a 5 book anthology collection from the Sam Jenkins Mysteries Series!

Seventeen-year-old Sam Jenkins is busy fishing and falling in love with a girl named Kate. But with a father involved with the union and a divorced mother, Sam often finds himself acting like the adult of the family. During a fishing trip off Long Island, Sam overhears a conversation involving dangerous plans that can land his dad in jail.To keep his father out of prison, Sam teams up with detectives from the county’s rackets bureau and enlists the help of two friends to pull off an operation far beyond their usual high school curriculum.


Police community Service Aide Liz Lopez should be in fine spirits—she’s in line for a promotion to police officer and a raise. But her sullen demeanor tells her boss, Lieutenant Sam Jenkins, that Liz is anything but happy.Jenkins begins an unofficial investigation to find out what’s going on. The detective learns of a bizarre home life and a dark secret Liz keeps under wraps.

FAVORS is a story of how the police take care of their own—in an honest and compassionate way.


A killer is on the loose in Prospect, Tennessee. He strikes repeatedly, each time leaving a cryptic message for the police to find. By the time a fifth body turns up, Police Chief Sam Jenkins is under pressure—either solve the murders or bring in outside help.But the chief’s ego won’t allow others to work his cases. And at the eleventh hour he tracks down a prime suspect, but death is only seconds away for the next victim.


A misunderstanding between hunters rapidly escalates into a battle not seen in Southern Appalachia since the Hatfield and McCoy feud.As bodies pile up faster than evidence, Sam Jenkins and the officers of Prospect PD scour the remote hills and valleys of East Tennessee and North Carolina to solve a case that reads more like an old west adventure than a modern police drama.

Prospect, Tennessee Police Chief Sam Jenkins receives two reports of UFO sightings in three days. The gritty ex-New York detective doesn’t believe in coincidence…or space aliens, but he can’t find anything to explain a glowing spaceship and little green men—until he sends Sergeant Stan Rose and Officer Junior Huskey to Campbell’s Woods. They call in a startling discovery, and the investigation begins.



Book Excerpt:
The rain never stopped. From early
June through late August, it poured or drizzled almost every day. I thought if
I stood still too long I might begin to mold. It reminded me of the monsoons in
Southeast Asia.
Drops of rain falling from the brim
of my cap were exceeded only by the young woman’s tears.
“When did you see the boy last?” I
“Right after breakfast. He went
into the living room to watch TV, and I started doing laundry in the basement.”
“And when you came upstairs he was
More tears rolled over her cheeks
as she stood there, wringing her hands. “Yes.”
“Was your door locked?”
“Lord have mercy, no.”
“Is your son’s rain jacket here?”
She shrugged and cried a little
“Let’s look,” I suggested.
We walked to the mud room off the
kitchen. A small hooded jacket hung on one of the five pegs over an antique
wooden chair not six feet from the back door. A small pair of bright blue
rubber Wellingtons sat on the floor.
“You call for him outside?”
“Of course. I ran all around.”
Without the puffy eyes and fear
scarring her face, Emily Suttles would have been an attractive brunette.
“And then you called 9-1-1?”
“What was he watching?”
“I don’t know. He knows how to work
the TV.”
“You turn it off?”
“One of the policemen did.”
“Let’s take a look.”
She stared at me as if I had two
heads. “Why?”
“Indulge me.”
Back in the living room, Emily
picked up the remote control and turned on a flat screen about the size of a
stretch van. The American Movie Classics channel came on playing a scene from Halloween 4.
“Did you or the cops look through
the house?” I asked.
“Yes, of course.”
“All over?”
“Every room.”
“Slowly or quick?”
“Quick. I was frantic.”
“Let’s try again. Where’s Elijah’s
“Upstairs.” Emily began to look
impatient. “I know he’s not there.”
We walked upstairs anyway. I looked
under the bed. Nothing. The boy’s mother called his name. More nothing. I
opened the closet. Huddled in the left corner, leaning against the wall, four-year-old
Elijah Suttles slept peacefully, a small flashlight in his right hand. I shook
his knee.
“Hey, partner, you doing okay in
He opened his eyes, blinked
rapidly, and looked frightened.
“Take it easy, son. I’m a
policeman. Your mom couldn’t find you and asked for some help.”
“Jesus have mercy, Elijah,” his
mother said, “you ‘bout scared me half ta death. You come out here right now,
young man.”
“Go slow, Mrs. Suttles. He probably
had a good reason to hide in here. Didn’t you, son?”
The little boy nodded, but still
looked scared.
“Something happen on the TV?”
Another nod.
“Ready to come out now?”
The boy stuck out a hand, and I
pulled. Once on his feet, he scrambled to his mother and locked onto her leg,
mumbling an apology.
“Some of these slasher movies scare
me, too,” I said. “He just ran from the killer on the screen. Wasn’t a bad
Emily Suttles hugged her son,
looked at me, and said, “Thank you.”
“I’ll call the three officers and
let them know your son’s safe.”
I switched on the ignition in my
unmarked Crown Victoria and keyed the microphone. “Prospect-one to headquarters
and all units. The missing child has been found. Resume patrol. Five-twelve,
close out the call at 1015 hours.”
PO Johnny Rutledge acknowledged. “10-4,
“Five-oh-nine, I copy that,” Billy
Puckett said.
After a long moment of silence,
Sergeant Bettye Lambert, our desk officer, broke in. “Unit 513, five-one-three,
do you copy?”
No answer.
“Anyone know 513’s 10-35?” I asked.
“Joey was goin’ house ta house,
east end o’ the street,” Puckett said.
“I’m probably the closest,” I said.
“I’ll check.”
Just as I shifted into reverse, PO
Joey Gillespie spoke on the radio.
“513 ta Prospect-one. Boss, ya
gonna need ta see this. 1175 Benny Stillwell Road, obvious 10-5.”
10-5 is our brevity code for a
* * * *
Two men lay face down on the
kitchen floor. One with a shaved head made it easy to see the small caliber
bullet hole at the base of his skull—a .25 perhaps or more likely a .22. Blood
trickled from the wound down past his right ear, over a thick neck, and onto
the Mexican tile floor. The other victim’s blood oozed to his left. Funny, the
little details you notice at the scene of a murder.
“You call crime scene and the ME?”
I asked.
“Yessir, had Miss Bettye do it
right after I called ya.”
I nodded and looked around the
kitchen of a relatively new and expensive home. “Big house.”
Joey Gillespie nodded.
“At least 4,000 square feet,” I
guessed. “And quality. These guys had bucks.”
He nodded again and looked a little
“The air hasn’t come on recently.
In this humidity blood tends to stink quicker. Smell bother you?”
“Yessir, I ain’t used ta this.”
“Nobody gets used to it, kid. You
just learn to ignore it.”
“I guess.”
“You search the rest of the house?”
“Jest looked on the first floor ta
see if there was anybody here.”
“Nosir. On a slab.”
“Let’s go upstairs.”
I drew my old Smith & Wesson
from the holster on my right hip, and Joey pulled out his .40 caliber Glock.
“Look around, and pay attention.
Don’t watch me. There’s probably no one here, but we’ll do this by the
“Yessir. I’m right behind ya.”
We made a quick sweep of the first
floor, opening all the closets before ascending the stairs. The landing above
left us in a hallway with what looked like four bedrooms, two baths and two
closet doors. We found nothing in the guest johns or closets. A lack of
personal property in three of the bedrooms led me to believe they were set also
aside for guests. We looked further in the master suite and discovered two
closets holding clothing for two different people.
“I guess the two guys slept
t’gether,” Joey said.
“Strange, huh?”
“Not strange, just a minority.”
Two car doors slammed out front.
“Let’s see who’s here,” I
Jackie Shuman and David Sparks,
crime scene investigators from the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, had arrived
and stood in the foyer holding cameras and forensic kits. Moments later, Deputy
Medical Examiner Morris Rappaport and his assistant Earl Ogle pulled up in the
morgue wagon.
“How’d ya find these two?” Jackie
asked of no one in particular.
“I’s checkin’ the neighborhood for
a missin’ child,” Joey said. “Got no answer here, but there was two cars in the
driveway and the garage was closed. Figgered someone’s home, so I walked ‘round
back and seen them layin’ here on the floor.”
“Nice wheels out there,” David said.
“Audi S7 and an F-Type Jag,” I
said. “Pushing a hundred grand apiece.”
“And they’re relatively new,
right?” Morris asked.
“The Jag’s new, and the Audi’s not
far behind.”
“With these two sporty drivers, why
do you suppose there’s an oil spot on the concrete driveway?”
“Good question, Mo,” I said.
“Something for our ace evidence technicians to explore.”
“We’ll git’er done,” Jackie said.
“And take pictures of this table
top. Someone ruined a nice antique.”
Jackie looked closer at the numbers
someone crudely scratched into the mellow wood finish.
“Thirteen thirteen,” he said.
“Wonder what that means?”
“Two unlucky numbers,” Morris said.
“Two unlucky guys,” I said. “Has to
mean something. Finding out will keep me from playing in the traffic.”

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

About The Author



Wayne Zurl grew up on Long Island and retired after twenty years with the Suffolk County Police Department, one of the largest municipal law enforcement agencies in New York and the nation. For thirteen of those years he served as a section commander supervising investigators. He is a graduate of SUNY, Empire State College and served on active duty in the US Army during the Vietnam War and later in the reserves. Zurl left New York to live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with his wife, Barbara.

Twenty (20) of his Sam Jenkins msyteries have been published as eBooks and many produced as audio books.Zurl has won Eric Hoffer and Indie Book Awards, and was named a finalist for a Montaigne Medal and First Horizon Book Award. His full-length novels are: A NEW PROSPECT, A LEPRECHAUN’S LAMENT, HEROES & LOVERS, and PIGEON RIVER BLUES.

The all new FROM NEW YORK TO THE SMOKIES, an anthology of five Sam Jenkins mysteries is available in print and eBook, published by Melange Books, LLC.
For more information on Wayne’s Sam Jenkins mystery series see www.waynezurlbooks.net. You may read excerpts, reviews and endorsements, interviews, coming events, and see photos of the area where the stories take place.
Connect with Wayne Zurl:



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