Thursday, September 19, 2019

Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour - Mall by Pattie Palmer-Baker


Pattie Palmer-Baker

* Dystopian *

Title: MALL

Author: Pattie Palmer-Baker

Publisher: Del Sol Press

Pages: 272

Genre: Dystopian

A Novel by Pattie Palmer-Baker Winner of the Del Sol Most Promising Novel, 2017

MALL is a sparkling alternate world where everyone is beautiful,
employed with enough income to consume and to experience a myriad of
pleasures including drugs, gambling, theater, holographic adventures. No
poverty and little or no crime. A lot of sex.

But what about the Mall Code? And what happens when Sara, a 21st
century woman, accidentally finds her way into this alien yet familiar
world? Nona, a MALL mental health practitioner treats Sara upon her
arrival and goes against the Code to help her acclimate. Sara seems to
be just what she needs, an antidote to Nona’s secret and growing

At first Sara desperately wants to get home, and, as she seeks a way
out as well as answers about her new reality, Nona begins to see MALL in
a new light. Is abundant gratification enough?

Things aren’t all beauty and pleasure. Sara experiences dancing in a
dangerous orgiastic dance club on a lower level. She attends a gambling
session where people bet on living more years when their “number’s up”
and a “passing ceremony,” where Mallites are supposedly resurrected into a new life.

Junkers, outsiders lurking on the fringes of MALL, have been fighting
Mall Management’s control by creating increasingly dangerous
disturbances. For years they have struggled to discover an exit, based
on rumors of those who made it Outside and were never heard from again.
Through them Sara and Nona meet someone who might help them escape. They
both must make the choice that will change their lives forever.

Who will risk leaving and who will decide to stay?

MALL by Pattie Palmer-Baker was recently published by Del Sol Press and winner of the Del Sol Press Most Promising Book, 2017.

ISBN: 978-0-9998425-5-3.


 Mall, a Novel in Search for an Author

The last thing I wanted to do was write a novel.

I love reading works about alternative worlds. I imagine realities where animals can talk or people can read minds or aging happens in reverse – things like that. Then one day, about twenty years ago when malls were still thriving, I wondered what would it be like if everyone lived in malls. (I loved shopping). Would people live in apartments scattered among the shops? Or on separate floors? What would they do all day? How would they be employed? I imagined all kinds of things which dissolved in my unorganized brain, so I began to write my ideas. A novel started to form, one that I would abandon to work on my artwork or poetry, sometimes for years, and then come back to it. Writing seemed to be the only way I could keep track and expand this concept.

As time went on, I cast aside the idea of numerous malls in favor of one giant Mall, a closed system in response to a cataclysmic event. Because our malls were the foundation of Mall, the goals of shoppers in our time became the goals of the residents, called Mallites, such as the desire to be beautiful with gorgeous clothes. No problem. In Mall, almost everyone is gorgeous with attire beyond your dreams. Not enough to do? Not so in Mall, a place with a myriad of amusements including nonaddictive drugs, a lot of sex and all kinds of virtual reality entertainment. What about not being able to afford what’s for sale? No need to worry. Poverty doesn’t exist, nor does unemployment so everyone can purchase what they want. In fact, the Mall Code demands everyone must consume heavily.

Mall is a world where the purpose of life is to pursue pleasure. No suffering. How could that be achieved? How would they eliminate emotional pain? In the early days of Mall, the Mall Fathers decided that the root of all psychic pain was close relationships. When devising the Mall Code, they forbade intimacy and created countless kinds of amusement. Pleasure, they believed would be enough, along with long lives (for some), and no poverty or crime.

While I was creating this alternative world, something else bubbled to the surface. Where did this idea of no deep attachments come from? Actually, not really surprising considering that for twenty-five years, I worked as a counselor and had seen firsthand how much people suffer over failed or conflicted relationships.

But what would a world be like where deep friendships and romantic love were forbidden? Would guaranteed employment and endless pleasure be enough? Maybe not for everyone. Nona, a Mental Health Practitioner secretly feels empty and bored. Then Sara, a woman from our world somehow enters Mall. Not surprisingly, she freaks out. When Mall Guards witness her uncontrollable actions, they bring her to Nona. Sara’s outlandish beliefs and emotional outbursts electrify Nona. As time goes on, Nona learns about feelings, about friendship, about taking risks. On the other hand, Sara, who suffers from a troubled marriage and a difficult childhood, finds the lifestyle tempting. Not at first, but over time her commitment to return home weakens. She is overjoyed when Mall plastic surgeons make her beautiful. Without any pain! What else? Fun, adventure, an amusing job and handsome men everywhere.

The more Nona does to help Sara pass as a Mallite, the more danger they encounter. Like involvement with the shadowy rebel group, the Junkers.
Junkers want to be free of Mall Management’s control, and many of them want out. Impossible in this closed world? Maybe not. Could they help Sara find her way home? Does she even want to? How about Nona disillusioned by her once flat and boring existence and in trouble with the authorities?

Would you want to go home? Or would you want to stay in this supposed Shangri la?


What a suspenseful journey Mall was—a real “page-turner”- 
imaginative with firm command of psychological expression and dialogue!
Pattie Palmer-Baker captures some of the sexual contradictions,
insecurities, and darker motivations of her female characters, and the
complex relationships between women. The “surface” allusions to sex and
violence throughout the story line work well with the superficial world
she describes. Sex all the time—and yet, really, not much explicit
writing about actual sexual encounters—the same for violence. This
tension of content and form works well for me. What gives pleasure? What
gives pain? The many hallways and mirrored rooms give the setting a
creepy fun-house effect and increase the sense of a closed world and
claustrophobic doom. Her descriptions of the Mallites’ physical
appearances and their individual choice of costume in this strange place
is creative—a breath of lightness in this frank examination of our
quandary about the meaning of freedom in an existential existence. What is real? I was “on the run” with Sara for the entire read! And what a turn at the end!

— Cathy Cain, Portland poet and artist



“I want to be
clear, Natalie: are you saying that you’re having sex with this man more often
than the Code dictates unless pair-bonded?” Nona asked, fidgeting slightly.
Natalie nodded, red curls bobbing.
“Sometimes. The sex is good, but that’s not why I seek out his company. I can’t
find the words to ...”
Puzzled, Nona stopped listening.
Was Natalie trying to say the sex was not good enough to pair-bond? If that
were the case, any Mental Health Practitioner would know how to remedy it. If
Natalie’s actions weren’t against Mall’s Code, Nona would interrupt and tell
her. Surprisingly, this restriction pressed on her in an unfamiliar manner, a
physical pressure in the area just above her stomach, like the sting she
sometimes felt when she adminned a dart. But relief would have to wait.
Natalie’s voice dropped again to
almost a whisper. “You won’t tell, will you? That we have sex secretly? Or that
we meet to talk in one of our quarters?”
Nona’s interest quickened. “No,
anything you say in here is protected by client/patient confidentiality. May I
ask why you meet in your rooms when that also is expressly forbidden?”
“Are you sure you won’t reveal
anything I say to you?”
“Yes. Please know, Natalie, that
even if I wanted to, Mental Health Practitioners cannot.”
“We meet,
well, to talk about what he believes is wrong with Mall.” She paused to search
Nona’s face. “Okay, I’ll tell you the part that you can never tell: he’s a
The confession stunned Nona into
silence. Never before had any of her clients divulged such a shocking fact.
Before she could speak, as suddenly as it had been happening so often in the
last few weeks, the lights went out. “I do apologize. You probably have also
experienced this annoying event too many times. Usually the lights go...” Light
flooded the room at that moment. “See, no harm done, and I will add two extra
minutes to your session.” Nona inched up in her chair to look more closely at
Natalie. “I confess that I am taken aback by your admission that you’ve been
meeting with a Junker. Of course, I will not reveal this, but I can’t
understand why. We all know that Junkers are causing the disturbances occurring
throughout Mall. How do you feel about pursuing this strange relationship with
someone who belongs to this group?”
“I admit I find it troubling. But
not so much that ... Oh I don’t know what to do!” She wrung her hands and
lowered her head.
Nona was at a loss. Most of her clients
wanted to revitalize all kinds of things, from virtual reality rock climbing to
interactive story creation and, most often, sexual experiences. Except for
Natalie, the complaint was the same for everyone: the experience lacked
novelty, and the client wanted to rekindle the thrill. And strange, wasn’t it,
that the boredom Nona felt when she listened to the repetitive and stale
grievances was for her a symptom of the same problem? The only subject she did
find interesting was clients’ fear of death, but most refused to discuss it in
much detail. All she had to go on was body language—those subtle, involuntary
physiological effects revealing intense discomfort. If only she could persuade
them to go into detail, but that, too, would be against the Code. Never
insist that someone talk about a subject that would make the speaker
, and that even included Mental Health Practitioners. She
certainly did not feel bored with Natalie. Excited and, yes, a little scared.
Not only did Natalie know a Junker, she had a relationship with him. What
should she do? She wished she could discuss with her colleague and former
pair-bond, Royce.
Suddenly, the entry gong sounded,
startling her out of her train of thoughts. Natalie gasped, rising from her
chair. “God of Reincarnation, am I in trouble?” She fell back into her chair
when the door slid open and a black-and-silver uniformed man strode in.
“Pardon me, may I ask why you are
here?” Nona asked, stepping back. She seldom encountered a Finance Policeman.
“Your presence is required soon at
a Mall Management meeting,” he announced in a deep, authoritarian voice.
“Please excuse me. I am
confused—why me? Mental Health Practitioners never attend those meetings.”
“They do not inform me about the
subject of their meetings. Even if I did know, I would not divulge it.”
“Yes, of course,” she hastened to
reassure him. “I have never been to Level 100, so please, can you tell me when
and where to go?”
“Not necessary. I will return and
accompany you at the appointed time.” He spun around and out the door.
Natalie sighed audibly. “Oh, God of
Reincarnation, I thought somehow you had alerted the Finance Police about my
code violation.”
“No, as I said, I would not and
cannot. Please continue.”
“I wonder what the meeting will be
about.” Natalie looked over at the door. “I’m afraid for my friend ...”
Nona interrupted. “Please excuse me for cutting in. You said
friend. Do you have a heart- friend contract with him?”

“No—I would, but he refuses because…I don’t think I want to
talk about this anymore.”

Nona quashed the desire to try to persuade her. “Do you have
anything else to discuss? Our meeting is drawing to a close.”

“Sort of. At work, Delta stole one of my ideas. I planned on
letting Stan know because I earned the extra credit …”

Again Nona’s attention veered away. What was this
meeting she was summoned to? Was it about the disturbances? Just the other day
her office went dark twice, both times during sessions, and one of the
blackouts lasted a half hour. The next words out of Natalie’s mouth snagged her
“Delta must have heard or seen him enter my quarters. She
red-mailed me into keeping silent about her creative theft in trade for her not
revealing that Code violation. To make it worse, she overheard him tell me
before entering my room the date for the Junker’s next meeting. He wanted me to

Nona shifted in her seat. What should she do? How could she
help her? “I, as your Mental Health Practitioner, would not want you to take
such a risk. If you are experiencing curiosity, I can prescribe something that
will eliminate that undesirable feeling—have you heard of the new pharm,
Freedomfrum?” Before she could stop herself, Nona asked, “Did your friend tell
you where the meeting would be?”

“Thank you for the offer of the pharm prescription. I really
don’t need it. It’s not exactly curiosity. I just can’t explain it. I do have
an idea where they’ll meet: somewhere on one of the lower Levels.” She raised
her head abruptly. “Why do you want to know?”

Why was a good question. Was it because she wanted to
be a proper Mallite and report this meeting? No, that wasn’t it. She couldn’t,
anyway. Did she want to meet a Junker? Was that what she really wanted? No one
knew who they were or where they met. What was this unusual tenseness she was
feeling? Strangely, it was not unpleasant. The chance to talk with a Junker
excited her—that was it—a feeling she had not experienced for a very long time.

Before Nona could answer, an alert gong sounded, followed by
a loud voice announcing, “Mall Emergency! You are the MHP on call. Guards will
contact you in thirty seconds.” Nona stood abruptly and said, “Please excuse
me, Natalie; it would be best if you left at once. We can schedule another
appointment later.”

“Oh, God of Reincarnation, a Mall Emergency! I’ll leave
immediately,” Natalie said, voice shaking. She scurried to the opening door and
hurried out.


Pattie Palmer-Baker is a recognized award-winning artist and poet.
Her artwork has been exhibited in galleries throughout the Pacific
Northwest. Locally and nationally she has won numerous awards for her
art and poetry.

An accomplished poet, Pattie had been nominated for the Pushcart
Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in many journals including Calyx,
Voicecatcher, Military Experience the Arts, Minerva Rising and Phantom
Drift. In 2017 she earned first prize in the Write to Publish contest,
and in 2019 she won first, second, and the Bivona prize in the Ageless
Poetry contest.  She has served as the poetry co-editor for VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices and visions.

Del Sol Press awarded MALL first prize for the most promising first novel in 2017.

Pattie lives in Portland, Oregon with her beloved husband and rescued dachshund.

Her website is

You can follow her at Facebook at

Goddess Fish Promotions - Fear Justice by C C Bolick

Fear Justice
by C.C. Bolick


GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy



Seventeen-year-old Rena Mason counts the days until she can leave for college. Every night her father drinks himself to sleep, leaving her to care for her younger brother. When her father is kidnapped by terrorists, her dreams of freedom become a nightmare.

Stunned that her father has a history with these terrorists, Rena knows she must run or be their next victim. She learns the tough guy at school has a reason to look after her - he's working for a government agency with the same goal as the terrorists: find a woman who disappeared eighteen years ago. Time is running out since only this woman's special gift can save the world from a looming nuclear attack.

Rena can't trust anyone, especially not the stone-cold agent she's falling for. Can they save the world before Rena's feelings trap her in an agent's fight for justice?

Fear Justice contains elements of fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal, with a clean romance. It's the first book in an exciting new series called The Fear Chronicles.



He smiled and held out a hand. “I’m Tony and no, I’ve never thought of myself as a nice guy.”

Staring at his outstretched hand, I hesitated. “Rena.”

Tony moved his hand closer and his eyes took on a look of intensity, as if daring me to shake his hand.

“What’s with the gloves?” I asked.

“Skin allergies. What’s with the hesitation?”

“Hesitation?” With defiance, I reached forward. “I’m not afraid of you.”

“What are you afraid of?”

As his hand gripped mine, my breathing sped and I fought to control my voice. Our skin wasn’t even touching. Hiding my feelings with Robbie had been easy, but this was… weird. “Why are you worried about who I date? You don’t even know me.”

“I know your name is Rena Mason. We’ve got physics together.”

A twinge of guilt caught me off-guard. “I haven’t noticed you before.”

“My dad taught me to blend in with my surroundings, like camouflage.”

“He was a hunter?”

“Not exactly, but he did teach me how to shoot before he left.”

“Left?” The instant his words were out, I felt a connection to him. It was a sadness that welled from deep inside, the knowledge that we were alike in a terrible way.



I once thought someone should invent a machine that stimulates ideas. As an electrical engineer, I set out to design this machine. After late nights of drawing the schematic, modeling the prototype into a USB compatible device, and testing the jolt at a safe voltage level, I was ready to make history.

Problem was, I couldn’t get it FDA approved…
All joking aside, most of my ideas come from dreaming. I may only remember a glimpse of a character’s smile or a few words as they try to talk someone off a ledge. In those precious moments when I open my eyes and face the world, I feel as if my characters are real enough to touch.

Sometimes I’m filled with so many ideas at once, I get anxious because I can’t write fast enough. That’s when it’s time to go for a drive and jam one of my favorite playlists. I have dozens of playlists with everything from classical music to hip-hop. Songs for every mood possible.

At other times, I’m lost in that heinous place called writer’s block. Best not to talk about my own personal hell.

About a year ago, my health declined and I found myself struggling to sleep. I’d stay in bed for eight to ten hours at a time. My eyes were closed, but I wasn’t sleeping. The only times I really seemed to sleep was during meetings at work. And my binge-watching TV time? Nope, had to cancel Netflix due to my inability to keep my eyes open.

During this time, plotting stories turned into that long walk to HR none of us wants to take.
I complained to my doctor, which is when we both realized I wasn’t dreaming. At least, I couldn’t remember dreaming. My health was suffering and so was my writing. So, my doctor prescribed a machine to help me breathe at night. Within weeks, my health had improved. Within days, my dreams were back.

And so were my characters.

All of this thanks to an electronic device – who would have guessed?

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

C.C. Bolick grew up in south Alabama, where she’s happy to still reside. She’s an engineer by day and a writer by night—too bad she could never do one without the other.

Camping, fishing… she loves the outdoors and the warm Alabama weather. For years she thought up stories to write and finally started putting them on paper back in 2006. If you hear her talking with no one to answer, don’t think she’s crazy. Since talking through her stories works best, a library is her worst place to write… even though it’s her favorite!

C.C. loves to mix sci-fi and paranormal—throw in a little romance and adventure and you’ve got her kind of story. She’s written nine books including the Leftover Girl series, The Agency series, and The Fear Chronicles.

The Book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

Buy Link:

Author Links:


One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win 
a $50 Amazon/ gift card.


 Visit these other tour hosts to read more about this book and author.

July 23: Fabulous and Brunette
July 25: Sharing Links and Wisdom
July 30: Rogues Angels
August 1: Andi's Young Adult Books
August 6: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
August 8: Viviana MacKade
August 13: BooksChatter
August 15: All the Ups and Downs
August 20: The Reading Addict
August 22: Character Madness and Musings
August 27: Kit 'N Kabookle
August 29: The Avid Reader
September 3: Dawn's Reading Nook
September 5: Travel the Ages
September 10: Jazzy Book Reviews
September 12: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin'
September 17: Author C.A.Milson
September 19: Sybrina's Book Blog AND Sybrina's Book Blog
September 24: Musings From An Addicted Reader
September 26: Readeropolis
October 1: Jessica Belmont - review only
October 3: Our Town Book Reviews - review only
October 8: Long and Short Reviews
October 10: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
October 15: T's Stuff
October 17: Tam's Book Nook
October 22: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews
October 24: Books in the Hall
October 29: Harlie's Books
October 31: Independent Authors