Interview with Charmaine Pauls, author of Aeromancist

Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz. Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?

Thank you for having me on the blog today! Aeromancist is the second book in the Seven Forbidden Arts series. Although it follows on Pyromancist (Book 1) and the introductory prequel, Aeromancist, The Beginning, it can also be read as a standalone. You don’t need to read the preceding books to follow the story. There are no cliffhangers.

This is the story about the second of seven arts that were forbidden in the Middle Ages because the church perceived their practice as demonic. The arts and their condemnation in history are factual, but I adapted these gifts into supernatural powers, and the stories are fictional. In Book 2 we meet the Russian aeromancist, Lann Dréan, who possesses the forbidden art of manipulating the weather, which earned him the nickname of ‘the weatherman’.

Hunted with a price on his head, Lann can’t offer a woman forever. He has no intention of getting involved in anything other than fighting paranormal crime as a member of Cain Jones’ secret taskforce, and creating a new home for himself in the dilapidated Franciscan monastery in Santiago, which he is restoring. That is until a shy American literature student, Katherine White, walks into his extensive library of antique, hand-written books.

Lann is known for his cool demeanor, but for all his famed control, he can’t stay away from Kat. Neither can he keep his hands off her. Unable to walk away, Lann offers her a 30-day affair for the month he is staying in Santiago, guaranteeing her unequalled passion and the best sex of her life. But he can’t foresee the price his lust will cost her. His desire will bring a terrible fate upon her, and now he will do everything in his power to save her – from his enemies, but most of all, from himself.

The prequel (Aeromancist, The Beginning) kicks off in Santiago, and then the story moves to Brittany, France, where the cast of Pyromancist lives in the Josselin Castle in the village of Josselin. Josselin de Arradon, or Joss for short, is the powerful French aristocrat who we meet with his wife, Clelia, the firestarter, in Book 1. This paranormal romance is full of mysterious, real-life settings and features an international, multi-cultural cast.

What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?

I put a marketing plan together for the series before the initial book was launched. The first thing on my list was to sign up for book tours, cover reveals, and launch events as a big shout-out to publicize the release.

After that, what happened?

I ordered swag items, such as a branded USB with the prequel eBook preloaded, for handing out at author and reader events. I advertised on various reader websites and in romance magazines. Part of my budget was also dedicated to romance website and social media advertising. I made the book available for review in international book review groups and ran extensive giveaways and author features on selected sites. I wrote a prequel to the series, which I offered via Amazon’s Kindle Select program for free for a period of five days. And I advertise the next book at the back of each new book that I launch.

What did your publisher do to promote your book?

Satin Romance is a wonderful collaborator. They made the book available in extended sales channels, offered the prequel novella to this book at a discounted price for the first few weeks of its launch, helped me design my advertising material, and placed electronic as well as print ads for my Seven Forbidden Arts series. They also ran an extensive Twitter campaign, involving all my fellow-novelists, to create a big buzz for the launch of the series. We both studied the Amazon algorithms to decide the best categories and search words to list the books under.

What’s your opinion on blogging?  Do you see that it is helping sell your book or is it not making much difference in terms of sales?  If you blog, do you blog often?

Because of time constraints, I don’t blog as often as I used to. Now that I publish a book every quarter, with short stories for anthologies in between, my writing energy and time are focused on that. I found that blogging helped build my fan base, and where a purchase decision needed to be made, it did tip the scale in favor of a sale. One reader once told me that she bought my book only because she enjoyed the writing style of my blogs. These days my posts are limited to launch or special promotion periods.

I understand using the social networks to promote your books is also an effective marketing tool.  What social networks do you use and do you find any of them effective?

I am very active on Facebook and Twitter. With the obstacle of time constraints, I decided to tackle less networks but to do the ones I do well. My Twitter account followed a long time after the creation of my Facebook profile, and where, at first, I was apprehensive about navigating Twitter, it has become my favorite tool for the unlimited interaction and endless possibilities of connecting with like-minded people. I am making more sales through tweets than Facebook posts these days. As less of my Facebook posts are delivered to fewer of my fans, and I have to rely on paid advertising to make them visible, I tend to lean heavier on Twitter now than ever before.

Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you promoting your book?

I have an extensive advertising, promotions, marketing and communications plan, which I rewrite and adapt for my publishing needs every year. Fortunately, I worked in all of these fields during my professional communications career, which gave me the hands-on knowledge, inside information, and networks to execute a comprehensive campaign for each book and every story. My plan includes electronic and print advertising, radio talks, real-life launch events, real-life and video feed presentations, promotional items, giveaways, competitions, reviews, group membership, book clubs, writers groups, newsletters, an author website, magazine and newspaper articles (I send out professional press kits when my books are launched), trailers and book readings.

If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?

The most effective in terms of long-term relationship building, is a real-life launch. I have met newspaper editors and advertising executives at such events (you have to make sure you invite them!) with whom I still harbor a close working relationship.

On the sales front, I never sell hundreds of books at live events, but I do get the bookstore to stock my novels on consignment, and have seen long-term benefits when the books are sold out and the store manager contacts me to re-order double the initial quantity.

I always choose a theme related to my book for my launches. It makes it interesting, adds value, and draws more people. For example, for my sensual wine romance, The Winemaker, I had arranged for several wine tastings at top wine farms and venues around South Africa. The Maverick of South African winemakers and creator of the number one seller, Chocolate Block (a secret red blend), hosted my event in Franschhoek. I even had an evening with Chile’s number one, internationally awarded winemaker (who won the world first prize in the Berlin tasting of 2010) talking us through a tasting in Santiago. For my emotional French romance, Between Yesterday & Tomorrow, I traveled to the town that inspired the setting, Montpellier, France, and had a launch in Le Bookshop, an English store situated in a street of Montpellier that is over 1000 years old. On a different occasion, I co-hosted an event with Mr. David Bullard, South Africa’s most famous columnist and controversial political author, to launch Between Yesterday & Tomorrow in Johannesburg. For Second Best, a South African dramatic romance, I invited the South African ambassador and his delegate to a reading in Santiago. For Between Fire & Ice, a Chilean fantasy romance, I gave a teatime talk at the coastal village of Hermanus in South Africa, as well as in The Book Cottage, one of the oldest bookshops in town. I even took the novel on tour to a second-hand bookstore in Mosselbay, and to a commercial store in Cape Town for a Saturday signing. You can let your imagination run wild. For some ideas and inspiration, visit the events page on my website (http://charmainepauls.com/events/).

I have also donated my books to some libraries in South African towns (my home country), especially the ones where I have friends and family. Although this doesn’t hold any monetary value, it goes a long way in building a fan base. I have had very positive feedback from readers who took my books on loan from their local library, and even emails to ask where they could purchase my next book. I always leave a poster with my book cover and website details at each library I donate to, as well as stacks of bookmarks to hand out with every book that is taken on loan. Bookmarks are a cost-effective way of advertising your books. Besides for libraries, I provide bookmarks to the stores that stock my books to hand out with every purchase (it is left on the counter, so people will often pick one up and read it while they wait in the queue to pay), and I leave some in stores where people with related interests may shop, such as art supply stores, art galleries, photographic courses, and gift shops. You can include a barcode on your bookmarks that readers can scan with a smartphone, which will take them straight to your vendor for a sale as easy as the click of a button.

Electronically, Twitter wins hands-down. For every blurb line I post, I have at least a few retweets, and more importantly, clicks, which leads to a potential sale. I have acquired some of my biggest fans via Twitter.

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:


Short 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.
“Katherine.”
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
open.
“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.”
“Lann…”
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
necessary.”
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
her.
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.


Long Excerpt

“You made your bed, you sleep in
it,” my mother always said.
I
made this bed, with Lann Dréan in it. Only, he wasn’t anymore, not after thirty
days of the best sex of my life. What remained were crumpled sheets and
consequences.
How
could I not be attracted to him? I had a thing for intellectual guys,
especially damaged ones. And Lann was damaged, alright. His father abandoned
him at birth, never forgiving him for his mother’s death. It took some time
before Lann told me how he grew up in the streets of Moscow, stealing and
cheating his way to survival. He never revealed what he did for a living, how
he became a self-made millionaire. He had pulled himself from the gutter and
built a life. From the guards surrounding us, I knew he was involved in
something dangerous, maybe illegal, but I told myself it didn’t matter because
ours wasn’t a permanent relationship. It was a thirty-day contract.
When
I first met Lann it was in his privately owned library of ancient books. He had
just bought the Santiago convent. The plan was to spend a month of holiday
there before going home to New York. I had been rewarded a scholarship for an
exchange program in Chile to conduct my thesis on daemon lovers. His
handwritten books were invaluable to my research. He spotted me from his office
balcony and when everyone else left, kept me behind.
Lann
was reserved, to the point of being recluse. Few photos existed of him, even as
the paparazzi hunted and stalked him. Nothing could have prepared me for the
tall Russian. He was lean, well defined, minus the bulging muscles I hated. His
long, blond hair was mostly braided down his back. I preferred it to when he
wore it loose, because that way I could admire his ears. He had perfect
ears–beautifully proportioned, slightly elongated–but I never said as much
because he was sensitive about them. A silver ring was pierced through the top
left one. His dark Prada glasses gave him an academic look in a sexy kind of
way. His most unusual feature was his eyes. In the dark they seemed yellow. In
daylight I could see they were a mix of amber and brown flecks. And when he
opened his mouth and spoke to me in his thick Russian accent, telling me I moved
the air for him, my knees went weak.
So,
when he asked me to give my body to him for thirty days, exclusively, I signed
my name on the dotted line. Although I had given him carte blanche, he took his
time to lure me, to teach me what he liked. It was never a seduction. Unless I
gave him permission, he didn’t move on. But I wanted it. All of it. All of him.
Lann woke a dark side in me, a part I didn’t know lurked in the shadows of my
desire. Only when I was comfortable with him did he tie me up, blindfolded and
gagged me, and he didn’t introduce me to breath play until I trusted him. In
those naked moments I made myself vulnerable, gave him control of my body, and
he rewarded me with pleasure that wracked my mind and left me craving more.
One
day, he flew me in a water plane to a private lake for a picnic. It was the
most perfect day of my life.
We
were sitting on the shore.
“Lann,
this is incredible,” I said.
His
palm smoothed over my shoulder. “You’ve been studying too hard. Been cooped up
in my convent for too long.”
“So
this is my reward?”
“No.
I think your reward will come later.”
“What
a lucky girl I am.”
“The
luck is all mine, bella.”
“Are
you hungry?”
“For
food?” he drawled.
“You’re
impossible.” I gave him stern look and brought a piece of cheese to his lips.
“Open.”
He
obeyed. He took the cheese, and sucked my fingers into his mouth. I could feel
the atmosphere shift in a second. Lann had a hundred different moods a day, and
I took pleasure in the knowledge that I started to understand how to navigate
them. He allowed me to feed him some more, and after I had eaten, he got to his
feet and started removing his clothes.
“What
are you doing?” I said with a laugh, looking around, even if I knew we were
alone.
“Come
swim with me.”
“The
water will be freezing.”
“Are
you a pussy?”
“You
didn’t just call me that.”
“Oh
yes, I did.”
I
jumped up and discarded my clothes faster than him. Before he was out of his
pants, I was running to the water, stark naked. I gritted my teeth when I felt
the iciness around my feet. Looking over my shoulder, I saw Lann making his way
to the water, a huge grin on his face. I held my breath and charged. It was so
cold it felt as if it would stop my heart. I let out a yelp, and heard Lann’s
laugh echo behind me. I dove in and swam furiously for a few strokes to warm up
my limbs. When I turned, Lann still stood on the beach.
“Come
on!” I beckoned him with a curled finger. “Or are you a pussy?”
He
made big eyes at me. “What did you just call me?”
“I
said–”
Before
I could complete the sentence, he was storming me. I managed to splash him
before he got wet, and heard his curse before he dove underwater to resurface
in front of me. Laughing, I tried to swim away from him, but he grabbed me
around the waist.
“Not
so fast, bella.”
He
turned me to face him and jerked me against him. His body was warm in the
coldness of the water. I wrapped my arms and legs around him, pressing close.
His erection strained against my pelvis. Lann wasn’t laughing any longer. He
groaned, and his eyes turned a darker shade of gold. His hands went to my
bottom, gripping me firmly. He lifted me slightly so that his hardness pressed
against my folds. The water contracted my skin, and when he lifted me higher
with one hand, spreading my opening with the other, an onslaught of cold water
assaulted my swollen clit. Immediately the sensation was replaced with the
warmth of his body as he lowered me onto his erection, sliding effortlessly
into my lubricated depth. I arched my back, gasping as he claimed me with every
inch he had.
“God,
Katherine, I’m buried so deep inside of you,” he said against my neck.
He
kissed me feverishly, sucking my skin into his mouth, making me scream as he
bit down gently.
“You
drive me wild, krasota.” His tongue moved
down my neck to the hollow of my throat, trailing a path to my breasts. He
licked each upper curve, before he took a cold, hard nipple in his warm mouth.
I moaned loudly. He started suckling me, moving me up and down on him.
“Is
this good, bella?”
I
whimpered. “Lann…”
“Tell
me, Katherine. Tell me what you want.”
“Everything.
I want everything.”
“You
don’t know what you’re asking,” he said darkly.
“Then
show me.”
His
mouth claimed mine with hard approval, his tongue sweeping over my lips before
he drank the very breath from me. I struggled to draw air through my nose while
he claimed my mouth like that. He kissed and kissed me until I felt the urge to
shove away from him to draw air, but when I pushed with my palms on his chest,
he only sealed his lips tighter over mine, at the same time increasing the pace
with which he was penetrating me. My clit rubbed against his pelvis. One hand
closed around my throat, applying gentle pressure, while the other spread the
cheeks of my ass. Sensations slammed into me. His fingers around my neck
tightened, cutting off my oxygen. I felt a finger rubbing down my cleft, and
then I felt it there. I jerked when
Lann pushed on that forbidden entrance. It was hard to think with my body
craving air, craving him, and craving release. Already my orgasm was a tightly
coiled cord, a second away from snapping. Just when I thought I was going to
black out from the lack of air, he released my throat, at the same time pushing
his finger inside my rear. As oxygen reached my brain, my orgasm exploded in me
with an intensity I had never felt before. I clung to him, filled by his cock
and his finger, as the waves crushed over me and continued to ripple long after
he had spurted all of his seed inside of me. My strength gone, all I could
manage was to lean my head on his shoulder, and to trust him to take care of
me.
Lann
kissed my hair and my cheek. He said gentle things to me in Russian, while he
slowly pulled his finger from my slightly burning backside. I moaned, and he
kissed my forehead. I felt like fainting from the aftershocks of pleasure. I
tried to lower my legs, but Lann prevented me with his hands on my ankles.
“Hold
on, krasavitsa,” he said against my
ear. “Don’t try to walk.”
He
gently cleaned me in the water, washing his semen from me, before carrying me
to the shore. I had never felt more depleted in my entire life. It was worse
than the time I had a few drinks too many at the student bar and my friend had
to drive me home and put me to bed.
I
started shivering as Lann lowered me onto our picnic blanket. He stretched out
on top of me and folded the blanket around our bodies. He kissed my neck and
shoulder until I felt his heat penetrating my skin, and my body once more
relaxed. When the shivering stopped, he lifted himself to look down at me.
“The
sun will warm you. I’m going to get off you now. At first it’ll feel cold with
the breeze, but you’ll dry in no time.”
I
whimpered when he rolled off me, exposing my skin to the air. “No, don’t.”
“I’m
too heavy.” He rubbed my arms.
That
was the first time I felt the air move around us. It shifted down from my
shoulders to my feet, a blanket of clouds pulled over a naked body. This was
the dance of air Lann had tried to describe to me, what he meant when he said I
moved the air for him. At first the breeze made me feel colder, but then I
gradually warmed as the sun dried my skin. I felt extremely lethargic.
“What
did you do to me?” I said, trying to focus on Lann’s face and not fall asleep.
“I
cut off your ability to breathe, just for a few seconds. The surge of oxygen
that follows makes you come harder.”
“That
it did,” I said, closing my eyes.
“Katherine,
look at me.” I gazed back at him. His expression seemed concerned. “Did you
enjoy it?”
“Oh,
yes.” I tried to nod. “It was the best sex of my life.”
A
slow smile curved his lips. “Good.” His eyes warmed. “Your trust means
everything to me.”
He
lay down next to me and pulled me into her arms. We stayed like that until I
felt some of my energy return. When I tried to sit up, he shook his head.
“Rest.”
“I
need a drink.” I reached for my glass of champagne.
“No
more alcohol,” he said. He sat up and reached inside the basket, taking out a
bottle of water. He unscrewed the cap, lifted my head and brought the bottle to
my mouth. After a few sips, I lay back again, studying him.
“You’re
so handsome,” I said.
“And
you’re so expressive. I can never get enough of your face when it’s contorted
with pleasure, knowing it’s the pleasure I bring you.”
“You
bring me lots of pleasure,” I said, mumbling my agreement.
“Now
I’m going to feed you strawberries.” His eyes went to my breasts. “And then I’m
going to fuck you softly.”
That
was the day I knew I had fallen in love with him.
By
the time Day Thirty arrived, I was addicted. To him. But I had signed a
contract to walk away, and never look back. And it wasn’t as if he gave me a
choice when he left me behind. What I
thought would be a harmless sexual adventure had burned a hole in my existence.
I had fallen in love with Lann, when I promised I wouldn’t. But there was more
at stake than my heart. I never would have guessed that accepting his contract
was signing my death warrant. There was only one thing left to do. To sleep in
the bed I had made. And it may just cost me … everything.
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

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2015/06/15/pump-up-your-book-presents-aeromancist-virtual-book-publicity-tour/

Interview with Dr. Pat Keogh, author Defining Intelligence

Title: Defining Intelligence

Author: Dr. Pat Keogh

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Pages: 168

Genre: Education

Format: Ebook/Paperback/Hardcover

Purchase at AMAZON

It may be unethical for a person to conduct an intelligence assessment on another human being. Human intelligence is unquantifiable. Observing or analysing behaviour, appearance, personality, beliefs or acquired knowledge cannot produce a quantifiable measure of a person’s intelligence. The brain can perform millions of billions of calculations per second. This gives the person enormous power and incalculable potential. Yet, saying ‘I use my brain to think’ awards the ‘I’ (the mind) a priority over the brain. We are thinking beings. We are compelled and condemned to think. Thinking is process. We cannot analyse thinking but we can analyse thoughts and ideas, the products of thinking. The mind can reflect on the past, live in the present and plan for the future. Intelligence involves abstract, purposeful, logical thinking and the ability to create and execute ideas. It also includes unconscious thinking. The mind functions best when the body is at rests. The mind never sleeps. The ‘Bru na Boinne’ megalithic burial tombs in County Meath, particularly New Grange testify to the brilliance in observation, the thoughtful archectual planning and the masterful engineering execution of ideas and plans by our Neolithic ancestors of five thousand years ago. Modern day communication technology air and spacecraft are contemporary testimonials to human genius. Primary education should allow time in the curriculum for students to daydream purposefully. In early schooling greater emphasis should be placed on creativity, music composition, innovation and artistic pursuits.

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What is your favorite quality about yourself?

Determination to achieve my goals, patience and persistence.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

I am disorganised and I take on too many projects or commitments at the same time.  My inability to say NO is a fault. I tend to respond to other’s requests and needs too readily.

When did you first know you could be a writer?

After I completed my doctoral thesis I believed that I had something to offer the world and the best way to do that was through writing.

Who or what influenced your writing over the years?

Studying philosophy and teaching children has influenced my way of thinking and encouraged me to share my thoughts and views through writing.

How did you come up with the title of the book?

As principal teacher of a large primary school in Dublin I read hundreds of psychological assessment reports. I eventually came to the conclusion that IQ assessments do not measure intelligence. This led me to seek a definition of intelligence and to investigate the meaning of what psychologists call IQ.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I found the most difficult part of writing this book Defining Intelligencewas trying to include all aspects of intelligence and disseminating what does and what does not constitute intelligence. I found it difficult too, to avoid repetition and ensure that my arguments were logical and based on facts where that was necessary. Editing, correcting and modifying were necessary but rather tedious tasks as I came to the finishing line.

Pat Keogh is principal teacher in a large Dublin suburban primary school. He is a staunch advocate of child-centred education. He has had numerous articles published in the Irish Primary Teacher’s journal ‘In Touch’, The Irish Times newspaper and in ‘Leadership’, an Irish Primary Principal’s magazine. Pat has a master’s degree in philosophy and a doctorate in education. His doctoral thesis is entitled: ‘THINKING CRITICALLY’. He is keenly interested in the incredible calculating ability of the human brain and the illusiveness and ingenuity of the mind. He believes that the creative mind operates best when the body is at rest.

Interview with Christopher T. Rand, author of Silver Diaspora

Title: Silver Diaspora

Author: Christopher T. Rand

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 320

Genre: Historical Memoir

Format: Ebook/Paperback

Purchase at AMAZON

At the outset, the members of author Christopher T. Rand’s family lived in a world of great wealth. They were among the richest people in the United States. But they then faced a dilemma: compelled to choose between staying on in their ancestral world or keeping up with the times in the nation around them and integrating themselves into the American mainstream. With each generation, the pressure on these individuals to choose between escape or immersion into the society became more and more intense.

In Silver Diaspora, Rand examines his family’s roots in the northeastern United States and chronicles his journey through these times, against the backdrop of the family history. Embarking on a search of a better new world, Rand’s parents leave the East Coast and land in California. From here, this memoir follows Rand through college at Berkeley, travels abroad, work in the petroleum industry and his experiences as a writer.

Describing the people, places and experiences that impacted Rand’s life, Silver Diaspora provides one man’s insight into the world in the latter two-thirds of the last century.

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Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

Rand portrays the growth and evolution of the privileged,
highly affluent world in which he grew up. Among the richest people in America,
the members of his family formed a broad panorama of figures in equal measure
sarcastic, long-suffering, glamorous, blindly superstitious and randomly
frustrated — comedians of the erratic. However, as their generations succeeded
one another, they wrestled with the dilemma of staying on in their ancestral
world or integrating themselves into the American mainstream. Through a
historical and social narrative that covers the growth of the nation from
colonial times to the present, Rand’s work, from the perspective of their
lives, up through his parents and closest relatives, gives personality and life
to a broad range of striking figures and major political and social
developments in the history of our nation.



What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

The biggest challenge was finding people to take it
seriously.



Do you plan subsequent books?

I not only plan other books but am actively engaged in
writing them.



When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing at 13.



What is your greatest strength as an author?

I leave the question
of strength to others to judge.




Christopher T. Rand has worked as a writer, consultant, and translator. He is the author of Making Democracy Safe for Oil and has worked on litigation with the Federal Trade Commission and the state of California. Rand lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has two children.

Interview with Alan Joshua, author of The Shiva Syndrome

Title: The Shiva Syndrome

Author: Alan Joshua

Publisher: Champagne Books

Genre: Science Fiction

Format: Kindle

A secret Russian mind research laboratory in Podol’sk erupts, annihilating thousands and leaving a monstrous, one-mile deep crater in its wake.

Beau Walker, parapsychologist and reluctant empath, is coerced into joining a research team, code-named SHIVA, to investigate the enigmatic event.

Walker must fight his way past political and military deceptions and a host of deadly adversaries to unlock the riddle of the SHIVA syndrome.

Will he have the physical, emotional, and spiritual strength to defy the dangers he faces…or will they destroy him before he can come to a new, challenging understanding of the nature of reality?

To Purchase The SHIVA Syndrome

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Thank you for your time in answering our questions  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to write a book?

Actually, I decided to write a screenplay, but it morphed into a book. From the reviewers’ comments, it still has a cinematic quality.

As to my motive, I’ve been exposed to parapsychological research and even conducted a published study. The SHIVA Syndrome is fact-based fiction. I extrapolated from parapsychological research and set it in a mythological framework. I wanted to entice readers to investigate real psi research: the facts are as strange as fiction. Stanley Krippner, an internationally known psychologist and parapsychologist said, “In The SHIVA Syndrome, the author (a clinical psychologist) skillfully and ingeniously interweaves altered states of consciousness and parapsychology with genetics, paleontology, mythology, and religion to produce a frightening, brisk, and film-worthy story building to an intense climax. The story challenges conventional notions of reality, ultimately concluding that human consciousness extends well beyond the flesh–and offers enormous potential for both creation and destruction.”

The story is so realistic that one Amazon reader captioned his review with “None of This Is Real! Really! I Hope!” This made me chuckle with satisfaction.

Is this your first book?

It’s my first published fiction book. I’d written one about genetics years ago but, due to personal pressures, never published it.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

It was lengthy, meandering, and filled with frustrations. Queries to agents and publishers was maddening. The book was too long, too filled with exposition, too much of this and too little of that. The worst rejections were those in which I was told that they liked the story, but not the “voice.”

My colleagues in arms were the editors who assisted me. They saw the story and believed the public should read it.

What lessons do you feel you learned about the publishing industry?

First, self-publishing has flooded the market with an enormous amount of material. Among these, some are gems that needed to be brought to public attention. Many books are unedited, poorly edited, and/or filled with spelling and grammatical errors. This deluge obscures some of the better books and authors.

Second, having spent much time writing non-fiction, I can now appreciate the ordeal serious writers experience to get published.

If you had the chance to change something regarding how you were published, what would you change?

One thing in particular is the first editor I hired. She misrepresented herself and was a waste of time and money. I would investigate more thoroughly. Through experience, I have a clearer idea of what makes a good editor.

Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published?

I have to credit the Senior Editor at Champagne books. She read the manuscript and saw the value of the story.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Be prepared to work at your craft and endure the blows—and the criticism. Allow flexibility for suggestions that are offered from those more experienced while still keeping a sense of personal integrity about changes you would rather not make.

Recognize that you must allow for a three-to-six month window for pre-publication promotion, especially if you are a first-time author.

There are other suggestions having to do with the writing process, but I write about them on my website at http://alanjoshua.com.

Thank you for allowing me to express my opinions. I hope they are of some help.

The Shiva syndrome, his debut fiction novel, is a science fiction/paranormal mystery and thriller.

Always curious about the unknowns of human experience, he is fascinated with creativity and paranormal abilities. This led to his involvement with Psychology and research into Parapsychology.

He has explored paranormal abilities using hypnosis and in-depth interviewing of a wide range of practitioners. Among his prized possessions are a shriveled, mummified banana (a product of one healer’s biopsychokinesis) and a small, curled Austrian teaspoon produced by a German healer while six people sat around him. (see http://alanjoshua.com/biopsychokinesis )
The Shiva Syndrome incorporates his knowledge of Parapsychology and experiences with healers, intuitives, “psychic” sensitives, etc.

Unsurprisingly, he is a science fiction fan and has been influenced by such writers as Asimov, Bradbury, Crichton, Heinlein, Serling, and the extraordinary genius of Phillip Dick.

As an avid Star Trek fan, he is fond of contradicting Gene Roddenberry, believing that human consciousness and its potentials are “the final frontier.”

If you have questions for me, I would be glad to answer them–time permitting. I’d like to hear from you if you’ve had any paranormal experiences.



For More Information

Visit Alan at his website


As a native Philadelphian, Alan Joshua (pen name) has the appropriate fondness for soft pretzels and cheesesteaks. He is married, has two grown children, and lives in the suburbs. He is currently a practicing Clinical Psychologist with a background in Forensic Psychology.

His diverse background includes working in a State penitentiary and mental institution, a sleep laboratory, and a pain management center.

Joshua has published many nonfiction journal articles.

Two Princes: The Biker and The Billionaire (Book Blast)

Title:  Two Princes: The Biker and The Billionaire
Author: Victoria Danann
Series: Book 1 – Sons of Sanctuary MC
Publisher: dba7th House Publishing, Imprint of Andromeda LLC
Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Format: eBook – 49 pages
ASIN: B00UY477QC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Book Buy Links:


Book Description:

Two brothers, one a player, one a playboy, are on a collision course with destiny and a woman who thought she won a prize when she was allowed a look inside the Sons of Sanctuary MC.

Brigid Roan is a graduate student at the University of Texas. She had no trouble getting her thesis approved, but finding a Hill Country motorcycle club willing to give her access to their lifestyle was looking impossible. Then she got a lead. A friend of a friend had a cousin with family ties to The Sons of Sanctuary. What Brigid wanted was information to prove a proposition. The last thing she had in mind was falling for one of the members of the club. Especially since she was a feminist academic out to prove that motorcycle clubs are organized according to the same structure as primitive tribal society.
Brash Fornight was standing in line at the H.E.B. Market when his world tipped on its axis. While waiting his turn to check out, his gaze had wandered to the magazine display and settled on the new issue of “NOW”. The image on the cover, although GQ’d up in an insanely urbane way, was… him. After reading the article, Brash threw some stuff in a duffle and left his only home, a room at The Sons of Sanctuary clubhouse, with a vague explanation about needing a couple of days away. He left his truck at the Austin airport and caught a plane for New York, on a mission to find a mysterious guy walking around with his face.

Book Excerpt:

“Sir?” Brash Fornight gradually became aware that someone behind him in the grocery checkout line was trying to get his attention. “Sir?” He refocused and glanced behind him. The woman leaning on a cart overflowing with chip bags and cookie boxes nodded toward the cashier indicating that it was his turn to move forward. Brash looked her in the eye and had to give her props. Most people wouldn’t have the balls to try to herd a guy wearing Sons of Sanctuary MC leather.

The club employed a woman who cooked and did grocery shopping several times a week as part of her job description, but Brash didn’t like to explain his relentless craving for peanuts and he liked being teased about it even less. He didn’t know whether it was the Vitamin B or the fat or just because he liked the taste, but he couldn’t imagine going a day without them.

That’s how he came to be standing statue still In the grocery checkout line, being prompted by some woman with more nerve than sense. While he was waiting, his eyes drifted over the magazine display and settled on the cover of “NOW”, on the Most Eligible Bachelor edition no less. The debonair figure staring back was wearing Brash’s own face and body. He looked different with short hair and a four thousand dollar suit with the shirt fashionably open at the neckline, but the similarity was inescapable.

On impulse he grabbed the magazine and tossed it onto the conveyor belt with his week’s stash of peanuts.
He stuffed the bags into the saddlebags of his bike and roared toward home, nervously tapping his fingers on handlebars at red lights, riding on shoulders to keep from slowing down. He was anxious to get to the privacy of his own room and read about Branach St. Germaine.
Two beers, one jar of peanuts, and one “NOW” article later, Brash was sitting on the edge of his bed looking at the wall, seeing nothing but his own heavy thoughts. He pulled out his phone, looked up a website, and waited on hold for ten minutes to hear the time of the next flight from Austin to New York.
There was a flight to Newark in a little over three hours. He looked at his watch and calculated the time it would take to drive from Dripping Springs at that time of day. As he booked the flight, he stood up, walked to the small closet, grabbed a duffel bag, and began shoving stuff into it. Ten minutes later, he closed his door and locked it, threw the duffel over his shoulder, and headed straight for the office downstairs. He dropped the duffel on the hallway floor beside the closed door and knocked.

“Yeah?” Brash looked inside, glad that his dad was by himself, and stepped in. “What’s up?”

“I’m takin’ personal time, Pop. Gonna be gone for a couple of days.”

“What the hell is ‘personal time’?”

The gruffness made Brash smile. “It means I’m not gonna be here if you call and I’m not tellin’ you why.”

The Sons of Sanctuary President looked up at Brash, over the top of his readers, and narrowed his eyes. “You got a secret?”

“Everybody’s got secrets.”

Brandon Fornight studied his son for a minute. “True enough. Is it the kind of secret that could affect this club?”

Brash shook his head. “Don’t see how.”

“Well, then. See you… When did you say you’d be back?”

“I didn’t.”

“Bein’ purposefully vague, are you?”

Brash grinned. “That’s why they call it personal time. But I expect to be back Friday.”

“You gonna have your phone with you?” When Brash nodded, Bran looked back down at his ledger in a deliberately dismissive gesture. “Well, get outta here then.”

Brash parked his bike in the airplane hangar. The structure had already been on the property when the club had bought it and turned it into a compound twenty years earlier. They used part of it for vehicle maintenance and repair and part for parking.

Some of the guys who were working looked over and shot curious glances his way when Brash threw his duffel into his pickup and started it up, but it wasn’t their way to ask questions. The Sons figured that if somebody wanted you to know something, they’d tell you.

Brash took a cab to a midtown hotel, wondering all the way why human beings would choose to live in such a place. As he slid his credit card across the hotel counter to the agent on duty, he glanced at the name, Brandon Fornight. It seemed unlikely that it was a coincidence that that the mysterious look-alike’s first name began with the same four letters. He ordered room service and pulled out his laptop.

Getting intel on the guy didn’t take advanced ops. Within an hour Brash knew where Brannach St. Germaine worked, what kind of car he drove, what kind of women he dated, who his tailor was, and where he liked to dine. There was no shortage of photos online, but the one that grabbed his attention wasn’t one of the many with starlets or debutantes on his arm. It was the one taken with his arm around his mother as they were arriving together for some red carpet fundraiser. Brash had an almost irresistible compulsion to reach up and touch her face on the screen in front of him.

The knock on the door signaled that room service had arrived. It cost a fortune, but looked and tasted like shit. So he closed the computer and went out for a walk to clear his head and find something edible.
About The Author

Victoria Danann is the USA TODAY Bestselling Author of The Knights of Black Swan, which has won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES TWO YEARS IN A ROW (2013, 2014). Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.

Victoria writes cross-genre with uniquely fresh perspectives on paranormal creatures, characters, and themes. She is making her debut into contemporary romance with publication of the SUMMER FIRE ultimate romance collection anthology. It contains a novella intro to the Sons of Sanctuary MC series. The first full novel of the series will be released June 16, 2015.

Contact Victoria at:

Website: http://victoriadanann.me/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorvictoriadanann

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vdanann

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

Aeromancist by Charmaine Pauls (Book Cover Reveal)

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:

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

Book Cover Reveal Event Pages


Interview with Wayne Zurl, Author of From New York To The Smokies


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:

Book Description:
Author Wayne Zurl is back with his popular Sam Jenkins Mysteries SeriesFrom New York To The Smokies is a 5 book anthology collection from the Sam Jenkins Mysteries Series!

THE BOAT TO PRISON

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.

FAVORS

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.

ANGEL OF THE LORD

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.

MASSACRE AT BIG BEAR CREEK

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.

ODE TO WILLIE JOE
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:

From ANGEL OF THE LORD

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
asked.
“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
gone?”
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
more.
“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?”
“Yes.”
“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
room?”
“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
here?”
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
idea.”
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,
Prospect-one.”
“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
homicide.
* * * *
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
queasy.
“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.”
“Basement?”
“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
numbers.”
“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.
“Yep.”
“Strange, huh?”
“Not strange, just a minority.”
“Uh-huh.”
Two car doors slammed out front.
“Let’s see who’s here,” I
suggested.
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 mysteries 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:

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

Author Interview


Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz. Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?

FROM NEW YORK TO THE SMOKIES is made up of five novelettes spanning more than forty years in the life of career detective Sam Jenkins, the most recent edition in my police mystery series of four novels and twenty-seven novelettes. My editor helped me trim and hone the summaries for the book jacket. I think they describe the stories best.
THE BOAT TO PRISON


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.

FAVORS


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.

ANGEL OF THE LORD


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.

MASSACRE AT BIG BEAR CREEK


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.

ODE TO WILLIE JOE


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

What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?

As soon as the contracts were signed and a target release date established, I began sending out “coming soon” promos on Facebook and Twitter. Once I had the final cover image, I added that to the advertisements.

After that, what happened?

I continued to play the Twitter and Facebook game as before, but having a good network of fellow writers on Twitter, I get LOTS of reciprocal “re-tweets” sending my promotions to their followers. I’ve got about 7,000 followers, but having other authors onboard with me expands the viewing audience greatly.

Once I knew the books were in fact available for Internet Sale, I scheduled a Virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book. I’ve used them before and will continue to stay with a good thing.

Next was setting up a few local traditional book siginings.

What did/does your publisher do to promote your book?

Melange Books, LLC began with my cover image and an abbreviated blurb shown on their Coming Soon page and in the mystery section of their website. When the book was officially released and all the usual sellers made it available, all that went to their home page as a new release. Additionally, they have a Facebook page that rotates all their author’s book covers on and off and they send out tweets periodically.

What’s your opinion on blogging? Do you see that it is helping sell your book or is it not making much difference in terms of sales? If you blog, do you blog often?

I don’t maintain a traditional blog. The closest I come is a section of my website ( www.waynezurlbooks.net/ ) I call a diary. Other writers may have good luck with blogs, but it just isn’t my thing. I received some necessary reinforcement from Stephen King in his book ON WRITING by hearing him say, if you’re blogging, you’re not writing. What do you want to be, a writer or a blogger? That may be overly simplified, and blogging may do wonders for some or many writers, but it suited my way of thinking and I like to quote King. Makes me feel better.

I understand using the social networks to promote your books is also an effective marketing tool. What social networks do you use and do you find any of them effective?

I believe promotions and effective marketing are one and the same. Unfortunately, I’m sadly lacking in modern marketing skills. I’ve always believed that if you produce the best possible product you can, have a selling price the same or lower than the next guy and potential customers know what you’ve got, your stuff sells. I’m told that in the 21st century old-fashioned methods are not good enough. The second unfortunate element in this equation is that short of taking traditional college classes on modern marketing, there are few quick and comprehensive indoctrinations available.

I’ve never really learned what sells the most books. I tend to think the efforts of the publishers, although who knows? Maybe my small contribution accounts for a fair number of sales. Amazons sales data figures account for only one segment of what may get sold. All the publishers I’ve been associated with pay royalties either quarterly or semi-annually, so I really don’t even know what months account for the most sales.

What I can say is that eBooks are the largest sellers, with hard copies and audio books flip-flopping.

Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you promoting your book?

As I mentioned, before, I use Facebook and Twitter almost daily and seek out other writers or bloggers who offer interviews, reviews, book spotlights and need guest post essays to keep their blogs going.

If I have a few spare bucks, virtual book tours are a great way to get the paying public to know about you and what books you’re peddling. The publicists I chose showed themselves to be pros and have repeatedly done good jobs for me.

And if I can find some in my locale, I like to do speaking engagements and traditional “sit-down-and-smile-for the people” book signings.

If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?

Being a relatively lazy individual when it comes to doing a distasteful job—and all this marketing is too much like manual labor—I tend to do what’s easiest for me to get the most people to know who Wayne Zurl is and what he’s written. Twitter broadcasts thousands of promos all over the world. All you have to do is make your pitches catchy and memorable. Aim to get readers saying, “Jeez, that Zurl is nuts. Maybe he’s worth reading. I’ll guess I’ll give him a try.” You can’t capture a potential customer’s attention by just saying “Check out my books at…” I use oodles of 140 character blurbs, some general, some title specific. How about: “Elvis read a Sam Jenkins mystery every month. Well maybe not, but you can.” Or: “Sam Jenkins mysteries. Like NYPD Blue in the Smoky Mountains.” Then just add your sales link and hope it grows.

Interview with Ben Matthews, author of The Pursuit of Justice


Title: The Pursuit of Justice

Author: Ben Matthews

Publisher: Rushton Press

Genre: Legal Thriller

Format: Kindle/Paperback
“A satisfying, well plotted mystery that should please the court.” — Kirkus Reviews

Attorney Raymond Jackson is troubled by ethics charges, his failing practice, and memories of his still missing sister. When he agrees to resolve the ethics charges by taking on a case from the public defender, he gets saddled with a client nobody wants.

The client is charged with the murder of his former girlfriend, an exotic dancer who was pregnant at the time of the crime. Investigating the State’s key witness, Ray discovers several similar unsolved murders from the past few years. Needing help, Ray must turn to the man he trusts the least.

Ray also becomes involved in a money laundering investigation with his old girlfriend. As the bodies pile up, Ray finds himself framed for murder on the eve of trial. When the investigations collide, the cases become personal and Ray must choose between justice for his client or himself.
“Matthews…keeps the pages turning.”—Kirkus Reviews

To Purchase The Pursuit of Justice

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For More Information

Visit Ben’s website.

Connect with Ben

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Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to write a book?

I wrote a nonfiction book, Blended Family Bliss, a little over 10 years ago because I couldn’t find a book on the subject that I liked.  So when I started complaining about the novels I was reading, my wife suggested that I should write my own.  A little over 6 years later, The Pursuit of Justice was published.

I was concerned that I wouldn’t have the time or that I might not stick to it.  But I found that I loved it.  To me, writing is like reading.  It helps escape from the real world for a while.

Is this your first book?

It is my first novel.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

I submitted many queries to agents.  But getting little response, I decided to self publish and used Createspace.

What lessons do you feel you learned about the publishing industry?

They are inundated with submissions and they need to be pretty sure they’re going to make money on the book.  That doesn’t happen with a lot of first novels so they are very cautious with them.

My first book was published through a print on demand publisher but they really just dumped what I sent them into a format.  As I look back at it, Blended Family Bliss wasn’t well written but it did sell a few hundred copies on 3 continents.

Createspace was economical but it would have been nice to get a little more feedback about my selections for all aspects of the book.  It was very menu driven and I don’t feel that I got a lot more for choosing some of the premium items.  I am satisfied with the result.

If you had the chance to change something regarding how you got published, what would you change?

Wouldn’t it have been great to have an agent to help guide me through the process?

Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published?

Not with getting published but The Editorial Department was instrumental in helping me get The Pursuit of Justice ready to be published.  I had to learn how to write a novel and it was a long journey.  I got help from writing groups, family and friends.  I bought and read books about writing and fought my way through a couple of workbooks.  I attended some seminars.  All helped me get to a place where paid help was worthwhile.  I found The Editorial Department to be reasonably priced and the services to be well thought out.  I worked my way from the introductory overview through several more detailed services.  Each time, I felt my novel had risen to a new level.  Jane Ryder, R.J Cavanaugh and Mark Febbo all taught me how to be a better novelist.   They also did a final comprehensive edit that gave me the confidence to publish.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Learn your craft.  Listen to other writers, read how others have done it and don’t be afraid to get help.  Accept criticism, understand it and apply it.  I got a bunch of criticism along the way.  I didn’t always (my wife might say ever) accept it initially but usually my advisor had a point, or at least a partial one.  And it made me a better writer.

Ben Matthews is a native of South Carolina.  He is a graduate of Presbyterian College, the University Of South Carolina School Of Law and is admitted to the South Carolina Bar. He maintains a law practice in South Carolina.   His practice has allowed him to appear in the Horry County Courtrooms on many occasions.

Although he is not a resident of Myrtle Beach, he spent many weeks of summer, multiple spring breaks and a host of weekends along the Grand Strand where he learned to water ski, fish, crab, shrimp, scuba dive and party. It is still the number one getaway for him and his wife.

After Ozz by Bart Baker Book Feature!


Title: After Ozz

Author: Bart Baker

Publisher: CreateSpace

Pages: 254

Genre: Young Adult

Format: Kindle/Paperback

With her uncle, the President of the United States, presumed dead and her beloved younger brother, Ozz, missing, Dot Gale is whisked into an odyssey in a different, very strange dimension. With the aid of three friends she makes on this arduous adventure, Scared Crow, Heartless and half man/half beast, Lars, Dot must battle the diabolically deadly Empress West if she is ever to return home with Ozz. Can Dot survive the evil machinations of the Empress and return home to rescue the United States before her wicked Aunt Emily succeeds with her sinister plan to take over the country?

To Purchase After Ozz

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Bart and his family, Pastor Joe Elvis and their two sons Isaiah and Emmanuel, moved to St. Louis, Bart’s hometown. For nearly 30 year, Mr. Baker resided in Los Angeles, where he worked as a writer/producer in the entertainment industry.

He has had two feature films produced LIVE WIRE for New Line Pictures, and SUPERCROSS for Fox, as well as eleven films for television, including CHILDREN OF THE BRIDE, which spawned two sequels, BABY OF THE BRIDE and MOTHER OF THE BRIDE on CBS, as well as the Christmas perennial, A DIFFERENT KIND OF CHRISTMAS for Lifetime.

Mr. Baker has worked on film and TV projects for Warner Brothers, Tristar, New Line, Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, Lifetime, USA Network, Syfy Network, Fox Television, The Family Channel, as well as working on staff on the FX Network series, DIRT starring Courteney Cox.

Presently, Mr. Baker has two projects in development, HONEYMOON WITH HARRY a feature film based on Bart’s debut novel of the same name at New Line with Bradley Cooper attached to star. Mr. Baker has also completed his second novel, IMMEDIATE FAMILY.

Mr. Baker also has eight produced theatrical plays under his belt.

An avid fitness buff and political junkie, Bart enjoys spending his free time with his family and friends, and enjoys teaching film/television writing classes at Webster University.

Writing is his passion and he feels blessed that he’s been able to make a living doing what he loves and for all the interesting people and events that he’s been exposed to through his work.

For More Information

Visit Bart at his website

Visit him at the following locations:

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Interview with Judy Fishel, author of Straight A’s Are Not Enough



Title: Straight A’s Are Not Enough

Author: Judy Fishel

Publisher: Flying Heron Books

Pages: 320

Genre: Educational

Format: Paperback

Why do 5000 girls a year not get credit for AP Calculus? How do our mindsets affect our learning? Can we change our own brains, get smarter, or improve our willpower? What happens in your brain when you concentrate on learning? What is the major factor that divides freshmen who do well and those who struggle? These and other intriguing questions are answered in this book. Memorable stories, vivid metaphors, simple images and even a few comic strips reveal ways you can learn most effectively. Many straight A students memorize facts for exams but soon forget nearly everything. What a waste of your time and money! Wouldn’t you rather take charge of your own learning and get a great education? Straight A’s Are Not Enough is definitely not another book on how to make straight A’s. Students who use these powerful strategies will enjoy learning, get a great education, and learn skills employers want most. They can also make straight A’s.

To Purchase Straight A’s Are Not Enough

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Thank you for your time in answering our questions. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to write a book?

While teaching in a summer program for gifted children, I asked the students to introduce themselves and share what they wanted to be when they grew up.

A sweet fourth grade girl then asked me what I was going to be when I grew up. I didn’t laugh. I thought a minute and said “When I grow up, I’m going to write a book.” My little fourth grade girl said seriously, “You don’t need to wait until you grow up, Mrs. Fishel. You could start now.” And she was right.

Is this your first book?

While I did have a short story published, this is the first book I’ve published.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

I started writing at least fifteen years ago. I took a few classes, read a lot of wonderful books about writing, and just kept writing. Although a few of my early submissions got nice comments from agents, nothing was published.

Then, I entered a short story contest and won first prize, $100. My next short story was published in a collection. The problem was that I didn’t really like writing short stories.

After some serious reflection, I decided to write something important, something that could make a difference in the world. And that something was a research-based book on learning strategies for college students. The book begins with question I had asked for years. “Why do I work so hard, make excellent grades, but learn so little?” “How can I learn more and remember it longer?” “How can I get a great education?” Straight A’s Are Not Enough answers these questions and more.

What lessons do you feel you learned about the publishing industry?
I learned that many literary agents don’t want to touch a book unless they believe it will be easy for them to sell to a publisher. After a year and a half of sending queries and proposals, even with an outstanding marketing plan, one kind agent finally explained that publishers don’t think college students buy books other than textbooks. Based on my proposal, she said I had an excellent book and that it might sell 250,000 copies, but that I would need to self-publish. I had considered self-publishing a last resort but I am now glad I did it.

I read everything I could find about self-publishing. I avoided any of the vanity presses including those who claim they are not vanity presses. I hired my own editor, book designer, and a publicist who is excited about the book. Now, I’m enjoying the next step, marketing the book. It can be scary at times but what an adventure it is!

If you had the chance to change something regarding how you got published, what would you change?
I wish I had given up on literary agents when the first 20-30 said ‘Not for me.”

Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published?
There were a number of people. Certainly the agent who encouraged me to self-publish is on the list. A dear friend, Leona Bodie, who had already self-published and was doing well was a great role model. My husband supported me all the way, cooking meals as I wrote and acting as my unofficial business manager. My editor, Mark Woodworth actually made editing fun. My talented and patient book designer, Jim Bisakowski encouraged me to do as much as I could. With his help, I even created my own index. Finally, I cannot leave out Amy Collins and her team at NewShelves. Amy refused to take the book until we had a great cover. Jim and I worked on cover ideas for two weeks. It might take a village to raise a child but it takes a talented team to publish a great book.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Don’t just write to get published. Write about something you are passionate about, something that might even change the lives of those who read it. Write what you love.

Judy Fishel was a seventh grader when she first asked the question why she worked so hard, made good grades, but learned so little. She struggled with this question through high school, college and grad schools, and for years as an award-winner teacher. Here she shares her discoveries and insights with you.

For More Information

Visit Judy at her website

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