Today we are excited to introduce you to Within and Without by Deborah Maroulis.
Within and Without
Some people go to great lengths to fit in. But how far is too far?
After her parent’s divorce, sixteen-year-old Wren Newmann is forced to move from a small California town to her grandmother’s vineyard, where she’s convinced she’ll die a shriveled, wine-country virgin. Her dad’s gone AWOL, her mom’s hooking up with anything in pants, and her best friend has found the love of her life. Apart from the annoying but cute Greek farmhand Panayis, who doesn’t appear to notice her awkwardness or thunder thighs, Wren’s life has hit an all-time low.
That is until her own dating life improves unexpectedly when Jay, Wren’s long-time country crush, notices her. Yet it’s as if people don’t want her to be happy, with their warnings and advice that perhaps Jay isn’t the right guy for her. But they don’t know, and Wren’s done being Beached Whale Girl. She’s determined to become social, skinny, and sexy, because Jay wants her—every part of her.
Though her anxiety and secret purging sessions sing another warning that she finds hard to ignore. And when a series of personal tragedies strikes, Wren’s life is flipped upside down and she’s left to pick up the pieces of her broken relationships. Now, she must find the inner strength to decide if the illusion of being loved is worth sacrificing her health, and maybe even her life.
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Within and Without Excerpt:
The first time Wren meets Panayis and her mom comes home
Mom glides down the path and up the porch in her red stilettos, her new “thing” as she calls it. She stops in between Panayis and me and eyes him up and down.
“Well, hello there.” She’s practically purring. I cock an eyebrow and lower my chin.
“Ma’am.” Panayis smiles and nods slightly, the way a cowboy does to a lady in an old movie. She waves him off.
“Oh please, I’m no ma’am. Way too young!” She presses her hand to her chest and laughs like he’s the funniest person on the planet.
“Yes, ma’am, um…” His eyes dart from her to me and back again, but all I can do is shrug and watch in horror as she scares off the only person who’ll probably ever talk to me
around here. She lifts her shopping bag so it’s eye level and shakes it.
“Well, I’m going to put these inside. You two have fun.” In a lower voice, she adds, “Not too much, though!”
“Mom! Really?” I slide into the pillows and wish for a Dorothy’s-not-in-Kansas- anymore-sized tornado to wipe the porch, and me, out of existence.
Panayis chokes out a cough and steps aside just in time to miss her grand exit, tapping her heels and swinging her bag all the way around the porch to the side door that opens to the mudroom.
“I don’t even know…sorry.” I cover my face with my hands, peeking through my spread fingers and shake my head. He rubs his eye with his palm and laughs.
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About the Author: Born and raised in a small town in Northern California, Deborah Maroulis is lucky enough to surround herself with the things and people she loves. She teaches English and mythology at her local community college, studies myth and depth psychology in her Ph.D. program, and writes contemporary Young Adult novels. She lives in a slightly bigger town than the one she grew up in with her husband, newly-adult children, and her daughter’s very spoiled, semi-retired service dog. You can find her on Twitter as @yaddathree or through her website, deborahmaroulis.com.
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