Monday, July 27, 2015

The Story Behind The White Knight, the Lost Kingdom and the Sea Princess by Judy Carlson


Without a doubt I have to give credit to the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. For over thirty years he has been my primary mentor. I have also read much by his primary mentor George MacDonald. These men are part of a group of mythical fantasy writers after whom I patterned my story.

It took six years to be published but from the start Jerry Nordskog of Nordskog Publishing had a deep interest in my story. The echoes of Narnia were spoken of early on in connection to my manuscript. We had quite a struggle with the C. S. Lewis Co. But it all worked out in the end thanks be to God.





About The Book


Title: The White Knight, the Lost Kingdom, and the Sea Princess
Author: Judy Carlson
Publisher: Nordskog Publishing, Inc.
Publication Date: July 1, 2015
Format: eBook / Paperback / PDF
Pages: 476
ISBN: 978-0983195757
Genre: Mythical Fantasy


Buy The Book:


Book Description:

Just as the creator of the Chronicles of Narnia decided to try his writer’s hand and imagination, I decided to try something too. And so, I have written a story of my own having been prompted by that same idea of creating a God presence in another place. No, it is not Narnia but it is a new world similar yet different from our own. Surely, as I write this, I was inspired by the man who has invited tens of thousands of readers and not a few writers to write, think and look beyond this ‘shadow land’ called earth. I have named it The White Knight, the Lost Kingdom, and the Sea Princess’.

It is a story of intrigue and ever present danger in a world populated by creatures and mortals, whose destiny hangs by the threads of an Emperor’s vision, a prince’s lost love, mysterious foes, enchanting forest maidens, unlikely heroes, and a mermaid-heroine. All of this is wrapped up in a champion so invincible, yet mysterious, that he challenges the Dark Sorcerer with supernatural forces of a fascinating nature, using even the humblest of defenders. This profound love story will leave you with a taste for a country and a universe beyond your dreams and even imaginings. A world that is A fairy tale come true, and one “you will never want to end”.

IT MAY BECOME YOUR TRUEST 'HAPPILY EVER AFTER' STORY, AND perhaps YOUR OWN FAIRY TALE WILL NEVER END AS WELL.


Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1:

The Vanquished Kingdom

Under the Laws of Providence We have duties which are perilous. –Austin Phelps

Affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. –John Donne

A deathly pall hung over the palace and the city of Ajar as the threatening presence of the insidious Black Guard escalated.

“Hurry!” called the Queen to her maidservant, “Come quickly, Dianna!”

“Yes, Your Majesty!”

“The trunk is in my wardrobe closet. Count Amas has ordered two of his trusted men to secure it for me. They will take it to the cottage of the nursemaid Elnora and secret it there. We only hope they can avoid discovery.”

“Yes, madam,” the girl answered in a trembling voice.

“Disguise it with this linen cloth, Dianna, and lay flowers upon it. If noticed at all, a covered table will arouse less suspicion than a royal trunk.” The Queen of the Eastern Islands paused and lowered her head for a moment. Then glancing up at the servant girl, she said, “If evil befalls both Lady Elnora and me, reveal the trunk’s whereabouts only to a trusted friend. Perhaps my son Loren still has breath somewhere in this dim world and will come thither to claim it one day.”

“But, Your Majesty, surely the Lord Regent would not dare to hurt you!” The girl began weeping. Queen Maybella took her by the shoulders, fighting back her own tears.

“Forgive us, maiden, for we allowed evil to enter our beloved kingdom. Weep not for us. If we perish, we shall go to the White City. Weep for those who remain here in this place.” The lady’s voice became intense. “You must flee the palace if we are . . .removed. This wicked Usurper will come to his undoing some day. Yet as for you, without my protection, you will be. . . . Please, you must flee. Trust no strangers, Dianna. Aryel the White Knight will return. Be strong until then.”

(The increased power and control of the Lord Regent and his Black Guard had rendered the king and his advisors only figureheads. The royal family were little more than prisoners in their own palace. Fear of the attacks of a horrible dragon had spread like an epidemic over the citizens of the Eastern Island Kingdom of Ajar. In as much as it seemed only the Lord Regent had power over the fearsome beast, they had capitulated. Kneel or perish was his mantra. They were a free people no more. The few citizens who rebelled were killed, and so the underground resistance was born.)

The handmaiden of the queen did as her mistress bid her. When the soldiers came to take the trunk, it appeared to be a bench or table adorned for a summer tea. Several hours later, there came shouts and then screams from the royal family’s quarters. King Elmern’s voice was commanding, but to no avail. “Do not harm my sons! Take me only!”

A thunderous voice roared back, “Silence, you fool! If I would destroy you, why then would I leave an heir!” Following a tortuous silence, the Black Guards’ boots stomped through the halls. Then they paused behind the chapel door. The door shook from their pounding blows. The maidservant yet stayed by her mistress.


 About The Author 



Judy Carlson is from St. Paul, MN. She and husband Tim have six children and 20 grandchildren and reside in Missouri. Judy has a BA in English from Trinity International University. Her lifetime passion for literature and writing and the works of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien has permeated this novel with their characteristic sense of wonder. She wrote her first story at age nine, and has been the grand storyteller to her children and grandchildren.

Connect with Judy:
Publisher Website: www.NordskogPublishing.com




 Virtual Book Tour Page 

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Story Behind Profit In Plain Sight by Anne C. Graham


At one time a company named Digital Equipment was the 2nd largest computer company behind IBM. Less than 5 years later, they were essentially out of business, having downsized 120,000 people worldwide with the carcass scooped up by a competitor none of us had ever taken seriously. Digital was hell-bent on becoming a billion dollar company – a lot of money in those days! And as a result, they chased revenues at all costs. Many deals cost the company more than they were worth… and resulted in the company bleeding to death. While my division was profitable, it was a case of the little Dutch boy with his fingers in the dike, and I had to look a lot of good people in the eye and tell them they no longer had a job. I was a young manager at the time, and that experience was life-changing. Not only did it light my entrepreneurial spirit, but it made me determined to show other companies how not to make the same mistake. However, in the years that followed, I repeatedly heard leaders say that they earned a lot of revenue… but had nothing to show for it at the end of the year. And I repeatedly heard leaders putting growth on hold with 7 of the deadliest words in business “We don’t have the budget for that”. My mission became to reach and impact 5 million business leaders and help them transform those words into an enthusiastic “YES!” to every good growth initiative, because that’s how they create great companies who support their people, their customers, their community, and contribute to a thriving economy.

The only way I can reach and inspire all of those leaders is through a book, much as Good to Great reached 5 million leaders over the past dozen years and inspired me at one point in my career. As I wrote Profit in Plain Sight, The Proven Leadership Path to Unlock Profit, Passion and Growth, I found that I was able to illustrate each of the points I wanted leaders to take action on – Customer Loyalty, Top and Bottom Line Growth, Quality, and Innovation – with personal stories from the tough turnarounds I led as an executive, and with stories from the clients I’ve worked with as a consultant. They add life, color, AHA! Moments, and the inspiration, so that Profit in Plain Sight is not a boring book driven by accounting, but a lively read driven by stories of leaders creating value for customers and being richly rewarded in return.

I was introduced to my publisher, Morgan James as a result of a “speed dating” networking session at a conference I attended called Author101, and my work with them shows just what a bit of chutzpah and determination can do. The President of Morgan James, David Hancock, was initially dismissive and uninterested (or perhaps he was just testing me). So I queued up again, and pitched one of their talent agents, Terry Whalin. The next morning, they both stood up in the lobby and motioned me over, greeting me with big hugs and “Welcome to the Family”. It turns out that Terry stayed up all night reading Profit in Plain Sight, and successfully pitched David. David, whose other role is Chairman of the Guerrilla Marketing Association, eventually asked if he could write the Foreword to the book – an offer I was proud and delighted to accept!



About The Book



Title:  Profit In Plain Sight
Author: Anne C. Graham
Publisher:  Morgan James
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Pages: 289
Format: eBook / Hardcover / Paperback / PDF
ISBN: 978-1-63047-293-1 
Genre: Business

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


Buy The Book:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Profit-Plain-Sight-Leadership-Passion/dp/1630472913/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1434998346&sr=8-2&keywords=profit+in+plain+sight

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/profit-in-plain-sight-anne-c-graham/1120518388?ean=9781630472917

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23331219-profit-in-plain-sight


Book Description:
  1. 84% of business owners and CEOs surveyed score a C, D or F on the Return on People Benchmark - they can't even give every employee a decent raise, let alone hire, invest in facilities, equipment or technology, or expand into new markets!
  2. 40% companies who increase their revenues in a given year will actually decrease their profits… and there’s a better way to increase both.
  3. 96% of companies will put their greater goals on hold this year with one simple phrase: We don't have the budget for that.
Imagine if leaders were able to break free of their profit constraints, stop being victims of exchange rates and oil prices, and be in control of earning all the profit they need to fund the growth they want.

Savvy entrepreneurs would never start a new business without a Business Plan.  Experienced executives would never try to lead their business without a Strategic Plan.  But almost every manager confesses that they don’t have a Profit Plan beyond their P&L, and that means that profit becomes the leftovers between disappointing revenues and higher-than-expected costs.

Profit in Plain Sight offers the Profit Plan that’s missing, with a step-by-step roadmap that enables these busy leaders to grasp the big picture, and to implement solutions in less time per week than they are spending on email per day.

Unlike many  business books, Profit in Plain Sight gives readers access to the “hows”, not just the “shoulds”, with downloadable training resources and action plans  at the end of every chapter, plus regular opportunities for the reader to reflect on how their thinking is changing and growing.

This book finally helps leaders who are passionate about their business have all the profit they need to fund the growth they want, with tough questions to start changing the conversations in everyday management meetings, with practical, actionable techniques that are quite different from conventional cost-cutting approaches or the all-too-dangerous “increase revenues at all costs” techniques.  Instead, Profit In Plain Sight offers take-it-to-the-bank results.    

Book Excerpt:

Prepare to Transform Your Most Persistent Market Challenges into Profit, Passion, and Growth

… with The Proven Leadership Path that Delivers Results

  • How much easier would igniting profit, passion, and growth be if everyone in your business embraced change and became part of it?
  • What would be possible if transforming your business felt more like play than like work?
  • How quickly could you turn good intentions into tangible results if you simply could take small steps that require less time than you are devoting to e-mail in a given day?

IBM is a legendary company, not only because of its enduring success for over 100 years in the fast-changing world of technology, but because it leads its category by a factor of four in terms of
profitability and continues to transform itself to generate growth opportunities. Customers are incredibly loyal, the company has a stellar reputation for quality, and, as the holder of more patents than any other high-technology company, its strengths in innovation are readily apparent. It seems that IBM has found ways to conquer some stubborn challenges, doesn’t it?

But it didn’t start that way. IBM’s roots go back to the 1880s and at one time its products consisted of employee time-keeping systems, weigh scales, automatic meat slicers, coffee grinders, and punched card equipment. Hardly the glamorous “Creating a Smarter Planet” organization we know today.

IBM’s secrets to success came from an unlikely resource who was named President in 1915: Thomas J. Watson, the second in command at National Cash Register. With just a few practical
tenets, Watson laid down the enduring foundation for IBM’s success — a focus on the customer and on customer service, a sales culture that built trust and respect, and an environment that instilled pride and loyalty into every worker. The result? Profit, passion, and growth, with integrity. In the 1990s, IBM had to reinvent itself or risk becoming irrelevant in the marketplace, which it did by reemphasizing its customer focus and creating clarity in its positioning.
In the 2000s, it had to reinvent itself again as the competitive landscape shifted once more, which it did by emphasizing its role in providing integrated solutions, not merely products.

This is not a book about IBM. But as subsequent legendary leaders have proven, those enduring, practical tenets can serve every business well.

How Many of these Stubborn Market Challenges Are Grinding You Down?

Each year a variety of organizations publish lists of the Top 10 CEO Challenges based on polling business owners and leaders. And inevitably, five stubborn market-related issues keep coming up again and again on these lists, although the order may shift from year to year:

1. Earning Customer Loyalty and Retention
2. Generating Sustained and Steady Top-Line Growth
3. Ensuring Bottom-Line Growth in Profit
4. Building a Corporate Reputation for Quality Products and Services
5. Stimulating Innovation and Creativity and Enabling Entrepreneurship

Why don’t we ever get traction and put those Challenges behind us? Because 70 years of thought leadership in the business press, from universities and in executive programs, has left us with more shoulds than hows and a lot of flavor-of-the-month distractions that sound promising but are hard to translate into bottom-line impact.

Let’s change that.

This Book Is for You When …

… most of the books you’ve read are sitting on your shelf and have not had any impact on your business;
… some of the books you’ve read have inspired you but you struggled when you tried to put them into practice because the author shared the shoulds but left you to figure out the hows; and
… you’ve tried to implement ideas in the past as an army of one only to run out of steam, run out of time, or run out of focus when you find yourself spending more time trying to get people to change and get on board than actually implementing anything.

Move Beyond the Myths

Here’s your wake-up call and a bold promise.

MYTH #1
We’re Too Busy

FACT: All of us are busy. None of us have spare time. Or do we? Over 90% of executives polled admit that they spend between 1 and 2 hours a day on e-mail … often more. So here’s your wake-up call: unless you work in the order entry department, e-mail does not move the needle in your business because it does not create cash flow, profit, or growth. In fact, it leaves you working everyone  else’s agenda when, as a leader, it is up to you to set the direction and lead by doing. E-mail is a nice, easy, reactive way to start the day and waste most of the morning. And it’s killing your company.

MYTH #2
We Have to Be “Always On”

FACT: We’re tethered to responding instantaneously to our phones, our e-mail, and other interruptions, and there are times when that’s appropriate, but more often it’s simply busy work. I’m not saying that you have to abandon e-mail — it’s a part of our lives in the 21st century, just as the telephone and voice mail became a reality in the 20th. But what is currently in your in-box or on your priority list that is more important than securing the future of your business for your employees, your family, and your community? What’s more important than building a profitable, growing business
that can weather any economic turmoil that global change can throw at it?

MYTH #3
There’s No Way Out

FACT: The noise is getting louder now that texting and social media elements are also in the mix of e-mail, voice mail, and more. Yet one simple shift is all that’s required to completely transform
noise into results, and I invite you to share Appendix 1 with your entire organization to help them make that shift. In the meantime, here’s my bold promise.

If you have time for e-mail, you have time
to once and for all overcome the stubborn
business challenges holding you back.

When you follow the Solutions in Plain Sight outlined in this book and access the Rapid Results Resources that ensure you never have to waste precious time reinventing the wheel, you will transform your business in less time than you’re currently spending on e-mail.

Close the Gaps when you apply uncommon strategies and tactics that will shift your thinking forever

Our biggest challenge as business leaders at all levels is simply to overcome the thinking that’s kept us stuck with those Challenges. Many of us were taught old-world thinking, long before today’s realities of the Internet, globalization, recurring corporate scandals, all-too-frequent recessions, and a rate of change that’s difficult to keep up with. It’s time to hold our beliefs, myths, and common practices up to a very harsh light of uncommon sense and retool for the future. It’s time to replace them with a road map that delivers results. This first section, Possibilities, is going to give you two powerful tools to do just that.

Most businesses won’t succeed in making the shift. They’ll remain mired in the “we’ve always done it this way” paradigm, because they simply won’t invest the time and energy to be open
to new approaches, and they won’t take the time to build a road map that takes them to their Possibilities, step by step. They’ll continue to default back to “business as usual,” because they think it’s easier, even though they know it’s not working, and they need a new approach. Unfortunately, they’re unknowingly making their lives and the lives of everyone in the organization more difficult, and more uncertain.

Take a look at the shapes Figure 1. How many forms of transportation can you spot? Look carefully, as the shapes hold the key to your transformation. How many did you see? What were they? (Go to Appendix 2 for the answer.)



Rapid Results Resources: Put some energy into your regular meetings and start the process of
Transformation with “The 101 Questions You MUST Ask Your Leadership Team.” Use a couple of the questions every week to get your team thinking about Profit, Passion, and Growth, and to get their creative juices flowing. Download your copy at www.ProfitInPlainSight.com/101Questions.


ITE THE POWER OF
Solutions in Plain Sight: Inform. Inspire.
Motivate. Systematically Transform.

By opening the cover of Profit in Plain Sight, you’ve already taken your first step to becoming more open, more focused, and more successful. You’ve taken your first step towards creating a process for sustainable levels of increased profits. And you’ve taken your first step that will differentiate your business from your competitors’ when you implement well. Just keep turning the pages to make it happen.

SOLUTION IN PLAIN SIGHT #1
Infuse Your Employees With Possibilities

What does it mean to Infuse employees? It means embedding the desire to be part of something more, to be the best, to behave every day in ways that add value to your customers, and to earn profit with integrity that will help the entire company grow and succeed in the future.

It means engaging them with the Drivers of Transformation that you’ll see in Part I, Possibilities, which will give them the powerful AHA! Moments of information, inspiration, and motivation.

It means involving them in creating the road map forward, because information, inspiration, motivation, and good intentions need to be turned into action before you can transform stubborn challenges into Profit, Passion, and Growth (see Figure 2).

People support what they create. When you Infuse your teams with the passion and talent to be part of the solution, you’ll divide and conquer the workload and transform your profit and growth more easily than you might imagine.




SOLUTION IN PLAIN SIGHT #2
Enthuse Your Customers

What does it mean to Enthuse your customers? It means creating an environment where they love doing business with you and know that your success is part of their success, because you save them time, make or save them money, solve real problems for them, give them peace of mind, and make them feel good. It means being the path of least resistance and getting it right the first time. It means they’re happy to pay for the value you provide.

It’s what happens in Part II, Practicalities, when you take action with the systematic approach of the Profit in Plain Sight Framework to solve the five stubborn challenges that are holding you back from leading your market by industriously activating your road map to success (see Figure 3).

1.      Activate the power of Infused employees with the Two Drivers of Transformation.
2.      Trigger the factors that Enthuse customers as you systematically overcome five stubborn market-driven challenges with integrated solutions that build upon each other.
3.      Achieve Profit, Passion, and Growth … in less time than you’re spending on e-mail.



SOLUTION IN PLAIN SIGHT #3
Overcome Your Biggest Obstacles

Right now you may be thinking you don’t have the time. Your people aren’t onside. You have other priorities that need your attention and focus. You’re uncertain of whether you can make a commitment to see this through. You don’t believe that significant profit increases are possible in your business or in your industry. Hogwash!

Bringing the voices of your customers into your organization is a powerful, counterintuitive, yet proven, approach to see what’s possible from a tactical perspective and will powerfully move you past “we’ve always done it this way” thinking with each of five stubborn market-driven challenges. In this book, you’ll learn exactly how to do that for results.

You’ll stop guessing at what it will take to keep your customers loyal for longer and know for certain how to become their preferred partner. You’ll stop guessing what they might value and know for certain how to deliver value to them that results in Top-Line Growth. You’ll stop applying bandaids to quality issues and get the sludge out of your system to stop the profit leaks and grow your Bottom Line. And you’ll know exactly how to avoid “me too” inventions that are passing for innovation and innovate in low-risk, low-cost ways that will set you apart from your competitors.


The Only Person Who Likes Change Is a Baby with a Wet Diaper

Even with technology, globalization, credit crunches, and economic turmoil, people still need to buy goods and services and people still do business with people. The need to enthuse your customers with the desire to do business with you and to infuse your staff with the passion and talent to deliver never changes.

What does need to change is how you tackle those five stubborn market-driven challenges, and therein lies the stumbling block.

Your people can’t buy into the typical approach of an endless stream of unrelated tasks, so-called best practices (which don’t differentiate you from your competitors), flavor-of-the-month management and proverbial silver bullets. Over 90% of business owners, leaders, and key employees polled admit they get lost chasing bright shiny objects, and those are simply the equivalent of trying to change nice, dry, comfortable diapers to icky wet diapers that don’t make sense to your people. Uncertainty, seemingly wasted time, wasted effort, confusion, and the feeling of a lack of progress simply causes fear and resistance.

Harvard Professor W. Earl Sasser was the first to refer to the plethora of stand-alone tactics as “Kidney Stone Management” (his lengthy list back in the 1990s has only expanded with time).
We’ve trained our staff to expect that whatever new idea is out there, it’s a kidney stone — it will only cause them pain for a while, it will pass, and business as usual can return. No wonder our people are burned-out and skeptical when so many new initiatives are launched, so many seem important, and so many run out of steam. Explain Kidney Stone Management to your executive and management teams at all levels. You’re guaranteed a few rueful chuckles of recognition and an AHA! Moment that indicates that approach is no longer going to be part of your leadership practices.

That’s the reason Profit in Plain Sight will make a difference when others haven’t — solving these Challenges for good comes down to realizing that you’re in wet diapers and wanting the dry ones you’ll get by shifting the way you do business. Dry diapers are the result of implementing the step-by-step road map of over 57 detailed, value-add Profit and Growth Accelerators for near term yet sustainable Profit, Passion, and Growth.

When your people have a mental map of where they’re going, and how they’re going to get there (see Figure 3), Kidney Stone Manage-ment is no longer a problem and they will be informed,
inspired, and motivated to get into the dry diapers. A systematic and integrated process rather than a series of disconnected events will consistently create successes and a sense of forward momentum and progress — the transformation you’re looking for.


You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

Unsuccessful businesspeople try to go it alone, reluctant to show their weakness by asking for help. Successful businesspeople ask for help all the time. They call it getting input and they know the value of not reinventing the wheel. Profit in Plain Sight is the window to Rapid Results Resources that are not just shoulds but specific hows — proven step-by-step instructions plus additional proven strategies and tactics that are beyond the scope of this book.

They deliver results more rapidly and easily than you might imagine. They deliver smart practices specifically implemented in the context of your unique company. All you have to do is commit to transforming conventional passive reading into active learning for results.

Every business leader who has succeeded in doubling their profitability or more — in less than one year, in less time than they and their team were spending on e-mail — has identified obstacles to success. And as they began the process, they found that each and every obstacle dissolved with the straightforward, practical approaches laid out in this book. At this point, all you need to do is finish reading the next two pages, and take the actions outlined. Then, turn the page and do it again. That’s it. Are you with me?

Summary

We’ve all heard that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. But I always say that you can make the horse thirsty or make the water sweeter. From the sheer fact that you’re reading Profit in Plain Sight, I know you’re thirsty.

Make Your Horses Thirsty Too

Embracing a process to transform challenges into opportunities doesn’t come from rigorous change management processes that try to force-fit people into a change that they haven’t bought into. That’s just leading the horse to water. Instead, it comes from naturally leading your team where you want them to go by building an infused culture that thirsts for excellence and that reflects their desire to find the easiest and most effective ways to achieve that end. When you share this book throughout your organization, you’ll help lead your teams’ thirst for where you want them to go.

Make the Water Sweeter

Sweeter water means helping you and your organization find ways to streamline complexity and stay focused on what really drives your business forward. That’s where the systematic Profit in Plain Sight Framework is extremely valuable — bite-sized modules are easy to implement, in less time than you’re currently spending on e-mail. Make the process painless and make the water sweet when you take an integrated approach rather than succumbing to Kidney Stone Management.

I’ve spent time in the trenches “doing,” and even longer with the responsibilities of leading others. I’ve experienced the frustration of dealing with these Challenges over and over, just as you have.  I’ve used every one of these Solutions in Plain Sight, as a leader in large and small companies and with my consulting clients. They’ve worked across a broad range of industries and they’ll work for you too.

Simply. Accelerate Your Results

There is really only one theme to this book — driving Profit, Passion, and Growth. We’re going to put many lenses on that theme, but never lose sight of that as our goal.

There are only two outcomes you need to achieve in order to realize Profit, Passion, and Growth — enthusing your customers, and infusing your employees. I’ll show you what you need to do to
accomplish both.

There are Two Drivers of Transformation that serve as wet diapers to motivate change and, in Part I, you’ll see Possibilities as you learn how to activate them to kick-start the process and help
you measure success and progress.

There are 15 practical, actionable Solutions in Plain Sight in this book and a total of 57 Profit and Growth Accelerators in the Profit in Plain Sight Framework. In Part II, Shift to Practicalities,
you’ll see your Profit in Plain Sight road map unfold as we tackle each of the five stubborn market-driven challenges.

Whether you take action on every Challenge or cherry-pick just those that are holding your business back the most, you will see impact on your Profit. You’ll impact the Passion your teams bring to the business. And you’ll sow the seeds for Growth.

There are no quick fixes … but Rapid Results are within your reach.

You can reach and exceed your goals. You can secure your business from the ups and downs of economic turmoil, and invest in everything you need to take your business to the next level and help drive our economy forward. You can finally feel confident in your plan for the future.

If Not You, Who? If Not Now, When?

Work is slogging it out in isolation; play is getting support to achieve breakthroughs and feeling a sense of progress. So go ahead and put some play back in your day and some bucks on your bottom line.

This Works. You Can Do It. You Will Succeed.



Take these Actions

1.     Download your copy of “The 101 Questions You MUST Ask Your Leadership Teams” at
www.ProfitInPlainSight.com/101Questions to start changing the conversations at every level of your organization. This is an ideal tool for executives and mid-level managers to use to spice up your regular team meetings and begin to shift your culture to one of profit and growth.

2.     See Appendix 1 for the secrets of achieving focus and transformation in less time than you’re
currently spending on e-mail.

3.     Check out Appendix 2 for the solution to the “forms of transportation” brain teaser at the beginning of this Chapter.

Small Steps. Big Impact!


Five Minutes, Five Questions:
Reflect for Deeper Learning

Reflective questions at the end of every Chapter offer powerful deeper learning on how your thinking is changing, so that you can generate the AHA! Moments to break free of the conventional thinking that keeps you stuck when trying to solve five stubborn market-driven
challenges.

Reflection simply means taking the time to monitor what’s happening in your own mind, evaluate what you’re learning, and ponder what is shifting or changing in terms of your attitudes and behaviors, with the goal of eventually building a new mental framework of how things work. This will allow you to continually add relevant information and discard the irrelevant.

Your first step is internal transformation, to identify what attitudes have already shifted and what behaviors will follow.

But the reflective process only works if you use it.

Ask yourself these questions right now:

1. How can I use the reframing approach I saw in the brain teaser as a metaphor for opportunities hidden in our business?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________


2.
Which items on the list of five stubborn market-driven challenges are top of mind for me right now — and why?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________

3.
How effectively are we solving those challenges today?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________

4.
How often do our people see our efforts as Kidney Stones because we fail to give them the big picture with a road map for implementation?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________

5.
How committed am I to create an environment where my horses are thirsty and the water is sweet?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________

Inform. Inspire. Motivate. Transform.
Enthuse. Infuse.


Are you ready to get started with the Two Drivers of Transformation that deliver big wake-up calls and pave the way to transform your business more quickly and easily than you might imagine?

If you prefer, you can go right to whichever Challenge is your greatest burning issue today, and then work backwards to put the foundational work in place that may be required to trigger the
transformation. 




About The Author


Anne C. Graham is on a mission to help 5 million business leaders and their teams double their profit per employee – or more in less than one year, in less time than they’re spending on email.  Drawing on over 25 years of deep profit and growth expertise from her “in the trenches” and executive experiences with Fortune 500 companies and smaller firms, she closes the all-too-frequent gap between the good intentions vs. year-end results.  The solution is the roadmap she wishes she’d had - a Profit Plan that transforms “we don’t have the budget for that!” into a “YES!” to funding every greater dream and goal for their business as they create prosperity for their company, their employees, their customers, and their communities.

As a best-selling author, international speaker, and accelerator, Anne inspires thousands of business leaders each year to Profit… On Purpose by moving past conventional thinking to discover Profit In Plain Sight.  Audiences and clients love Anne’s fun and interactive approach based on value to the customer, NOT accounting, and her ability to create profound AHA! Moments so that participants leave with a new perspective of their possibilities plus practical actions they can implement for immediate impact.  Anne is the Managing Director of the Legendary Value Institute, a popular faculty member in an award-winning MBA program, and a passionate boater on west coast of British Columbia.

You can visit Anne’s website at www.ProfitInPlainSight.com 


Contact Anne at:
Website: www.ProfitInPlainSight.com
Author Website: www.AnneCGraham.com
Blog: http://annecgraham.com/read-the-blog/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnneCGrahamAuthorProfitInPlainSight?fref=ts Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AnneCGraham
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneCGraham 
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annecgraham Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6475264.Anne_C_Graham

 
Virtual Book Tour Event Page



Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Story Behind Aeromancist by Charmaine Pauls

It is Thursday morning. Instead of meeting for our weekly writing and critique session, the Santiago Writers set off for one of the oldest parts of downtown Santiago – Recoleta. The streets are noisy with traffic, and the pavements bustle with pedestrians wearing Cuban hats and drinking mote con huesillo (wheat stewed with whole peaches). The fumes of busses and taxis mingle with the continuous flow of Spanish as I make my way down a road with worn-down buildings the color of brown wax paper.

My friend and fellow-writer, Rebecca, squints against the early morning sun that is already beating down on our heads, thanks to the hole in the ozone layer situated above the southern hemisphere.

“The guidebook says it’s easy to miss to entrance. Pay attention.” She checks her map. “We should be close.”

I’m looking around, searching for an old monastery, but all I see is the dilapidated bell tower of an abandoned church.

Rebecca grabs my arm. “Here!” She points at an arched gate, barely wide enough for a car to pass through.

Honestly, if it weren’t for her sense of direction and eagle’s eye, I would have trotted right past the stone arch. The entrance huddles between a chipped shop front and a graffiti-covered wall–inconspicuous, small and humble.

We walk through the gate and cross a parking to ring the bell of a wooden door. The Franciscan monastery housed the liberation army during the turbulent political times of the Chilean dictatorship. It survived one big and several smaller earthquakes, and has since been turned into a museum, which is why we ended up here today to write. A member of our group mentored a writing contest in the big hall adjoining to the Columbian art exhibition, and recommended the venue to get our creative juices flowing. We are forfeiting our habitual unprepared writing exercise and critique session for free-flow narration. Armed with notepads and pens, Rebecca and I march through the reception to meet the rest of our gang, who the receptionist tells us have already arrived.

As I enter a hallway with stone pillars, I stop dead in my tracks. Rebecca bumps into my back with an ‘ump’. I am facing a courtyard, a small corner of paradise, right in the middle of busy, noisy, smoggy Santiago, and zap, I am transported to a different world, the world of my over-active imagination.

In the center of the square stands a statue of Santa Teresa. Her arms are outstretched over the garden in a gesture of blessing. Palm trees mark the four corners, and scrubs and decorative flowers grow in a labyrinth design around a fountain. A gardener is raking the soil with meticulous detail into patterns. The rhythmic scrape-stop-scrape of the metal teeth on the gravel lulls me into a state of semi-hypnotized bliss. Pamela, who arranged the meeting, was right. The energy of this place is incredible. I feel a tinge of excitement as we make our way down the hallway, turn right at the end, and enter the library.



The library is a big hall with three levels, each lined with shelves that are filled with books. Many of them are handwritten. And the wonder is that we can touch and read them, provided we wear the protective white gloves provided by the library staff.



I am gob-smacked. I love libraries. Always have. I go to a happy place within myself, brought on by the smell of ink and the crackling sound of paper. There are small hisses of air all around as gloved students at reading tables turn their pages. I study the golden names embossed on leather spines, and then I notice the librarian. He wears a white overcoat that stretches over broad shoulders. His head is angled towards an assistant, and his face is pulled into an expression of undiluted concentration. He listens intently to what she is whispering. All of his attention is focused on her, and on the meaning of her words. He exudes an air of passion and authority. This makes him appear simultaneously intellectual and masculine. And suddenly I realize what a wonderful setting this would make for the second book of my Seven Forbidden Arts series, Aeromancist. Russian aeromancist, Lann Dréan, will be so at home here. He is cultured and sophisticated and romantic, after all, and he has that civilized look with his black-rimmed Prada glasses, even if they don’t completely disguise the dangerous side of him.





I glance up and notice a small door on the top level in the corner, a stepladder pushed right underneath it. I see Lann exit from the den behind that door, looking down at the people using his library of antique scripts, and there and then Lann signs the contract and buys the monastery with the intention of restoring it to its former glory, turning it into a holiday home when he takes a break from his stressful job as aeromancist for Cain Jones’ paranormal crime taskforce in New York.

Rebecca nudges me with an elbow. “The others have started writing. We better go.”

I peer through the window and see our group sitting on benches placed in the hallway, facing the square. They are scribbling away.

“You go on ahead,” I say, making my way toward the librarian.

“Where are you going?” she calls after me.

The librarian looks up, frowns at her, and points at the silence sign. “To interview someone about book restoration and conservation,” I whisper back.

Half an hour later I take a seat outside, opposite the library, and open my notepad. I am still living in a different world, a world of old books and abandoned monasteries and neglected bell towers and a drop-dead gorgeous Russian, a world where seven ancient arts are forbidden, and some still risk their lives to practice them in secret. It is a world sheltered by the book-lined walls and musty, cool air of a Franciscan monastery, but that safe reality is about to be blown open for hell and fury to descend on its tranquil square. Because the illusion of peace only lasts so long… 

I open my notebook and write.

Lann rested his hands on the wooden rail of the balcony. He watched the women without much interest. His mind was elsewhere, on how to handle the unwelcome media exposure. It wasn’t the fact that the journalist had lots to say about his character. It was his old Russian nickname she had somehow managed to dig up. Weatherman. If anyone knew how he’d acquired the name, he was screwed. He’d have to give up all of this and hide out in New York. Indefinitely. And he had no intention of running like a– 

His thoughts froze in mid-sentence. Everything came to a standstill as he focused on the person who had just walked through the door—a redhead with curls hanging down her back, her body lush in a strapless purple dress. He leaned back into the shadows and watched her from his post. The females were unaware of his presence. Mrs. Sullivan, a romantic arts professor who brought a group of students in on Thursdays, touched the redhead’s arm and said something. The group made their way to the library. Everyone except for her. She lingered in front of the statue of Teresa, staring at it in a way that made Lann wish he were that statue. Then, as if sensing his gaze, she looked up, and their eyes locked. For a charged second neither of them blinked or moved. Nothing but the moment existed, and then she flushed a little and hurried after Mrs. Sullivan. 

“Alfonso,” Lann called over his shoulder, not taking his eyes from the female. 

“Yes, sir?” Alfonso said from the door. 

“Who’s that woman?” Lann followed her progress until the library door shut behind her. 

“The redhead?” Alfonso said. “She comes every week with the student group, sir.” 

Well, hell. All this time she had been right under his nose. It was enough to make him believe in fate.

“Every week?” 

“Yes, sir. Comes in with Mrs. Sullivan. They arrive at ten, leave for lunch between one and three, and she’s gone with the group at five.” 

Lann turned slowly. “When the group leaves, keep her behind. Bring her to my office. And find out what name she uses to sign in.” 

“Yes, sir,” Alfonso said, as if Lann had just asked him to heat up his cold tea.







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


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