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Seeing Through Stones

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Awards for Swimming Through Clouds

Finalist (2nd Place) NORWA (YA Fiction)
Finalist Women of Faith Full Manuscript
Finalist Wisconsin RWA Honorable Mention (YA Fiction)

“A work of art…”
-USA Today, Happy Ever After writer Serena Chase

 

“Tough and touching, resilient and raw…”
 -Tosca Lee, NY Times bestselling author of
HAVAH and The Books of Mortals series with Ted Dekker

 

 ”A poignant but realistic tale ~Sheila Wray Gregoire, Syndicated Columnist, Canadian National Award-Winning Speaker, Blogger, and Author of  multiple books on Marriage and Intimacy

“…Characters who come to life in each page.Diana Mao, President of Nomi Network

“…Will leave you gasping for air, reaching for something  steady to lean on…”
~ Jennifer Murgia, author of the ANGEL STAR series & 
BETWEEN THESE LINES

 

“…Difficult to read but even more difficult to put down.”
~Brown Girl Magazine
GoodReads Book Review

 ”Should be read by everyone … men and women, the young and the old.”~Masala Mommas Book Review by Angie Seth

“…This patient, subtle romance is intimate and enticing.”~Talking Cranes, Book Review by Viveka Kymal 

 ”This is not a bubble-gum, high school sweetheart kind of story.” 
~Laura Anderson Kurk, author of
GLASS GIRL and PERFECT GLASS

  

                           

Latest Reviews, Guest Posts, and Waterfalls

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So I’ve been blogging here and there and feels like everywhere some days, but I didn’t want you to think I quit writing or anything. Here are a few places you can find me, reviews on my books and the occasional interview that was posted in the last couple of months. Thanks, always, for reading and telling your friends about my crazy Masala-marinated YA world.

On USA TODAY, Serena Chase reviewed Swimming Through Clouds, calling it “Must Read YA,” saying, “It is no wonder this novel has received so many award nominations and has garnered praise from critics, bestselling authors, and readers, alike. It is a work of art.” Serena is a YA Author herself so her opinion is valued and valuable!

At Brown Girl Magazine, I did a little ditty on my writerly life and the crazy Cinderella life I lead.

On MasalaMommas, I wrote about a special moment when my seven year old blew me away with her celebration of the family. Through a fashion show. :)

And Masalamommas shared the recent blog with HUFF-POST Canada Living on Top Ten Ways to be a Contagious Parent. Thanks to my seven year old who keeps giving me material!

At The Write Conversation, I guest-posted a Ten Step, Crash Course on how to navigate Instagram, hoping to trend #MaryPoppinsLeap by the end of the week, so pop on over and post yours!

My young blogger friend, Saloni of My Fantabulous Bookshelf, who I met at YAFest, recently posted an author interview and fun VLOG-review of her May Reads which included a sweet shout-out to Talia, Jesse, and Lagan!

Oh, another little Instagram post for authors and readers over at Kim Vandel’s blog.

This Girl Reads A Lot (aka Jazmen) wrote up a pretty dizzying review on Swimming Through Clouds and added a fun little Instagram love too.

AND there are more, but I thought this would suffice for now.

What else? I’ve been enjoying a book club chat here and there and I love having the face to face about my books with readers. The conversation invariably starts with the daring first question, “How did you come up with such a cu-razy story?”

To which I answer, “Yeah. I’m still taking meds to recover from chapter two of Swimming Through Clouds. Kidding. But ya know, sometimes I wonder if I should get my head checked out.”

AND… kinda fun, okay BLOW-MY-MIND-AWAY fun to have two interactions this week with people of influence. For someone who feels like I’ve been one or two degrees of separation from someone famous for the last couple of years, it’s nice to make real contact with real people. The first came from a surprise email from a gentleman who works for Amazon. Sure, no big deal, right. Except that he was searching for a success story of a self-pub’d author and the reviews on Swimming Through Clouds made him stop and skim. Then he kept reading. And reading. And finished the book! Next he emailed me to chat and at first, I wasn’t sure if he was legit or just a salesman trying to get me to buy some expensive marketing product. To my surprise, he was legit. And we’ll see what comes of that.

The second was a shot in the air. Like a fishergirl, I throw out my line here and there and everywhere and wonder if anyone will bite. Yep. I’m the girl that mailed First Lady Michelle Obama my book. Ya never know, right? And she actually sent me a post card to say, “Thank you for the gift.” I hope she reads it. But the fun news of today was a tweet from the Executive Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief (say that five times fast) of Seventeen Magazine, requesting a copy of my book. Yes, I asked. A week or so ago. But when I didn’t hear back, I assumed my request got swallowed in the Bermuda Triangle of tweets. So I popped it into the mail and, once again, we’ll see what will come of that.

Little by Little. That’s how it seems to work. Like so much of life, and I’m okay with that. More than okay.

Happy Swimming, all. And Seeing too.

Best,
Raj

Spring Fling GoodReads Giveaway!! Signed Copies of Both Books!

FOUR MORE DAYS!!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Seeing Through Stones by Rajdeep Paulus

Seeing Through Stones

by Rajdeep Paulus

Giveaway ends April 30, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

R.I.P. Nelson Mandela – My Hero

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I first learned about the atrocities of Apartheid when I was in sixth grade. Many moons ago. But I remember the awakening as one that cost me many nights of sleep. I struggled with how at a time in history after so many racist episodes like Hitler’s Nazi Germany or American Slavery had been long abolished, Apartheid could exist. And persist.

As a young person, I felt helpless to know how to change the world, but I began by educating myself. Finding all the resources available at the library (life before Google,) I devoured all the books, memoirs, novels, and movies on the topic of South Africa. Two will always stay with me: Sarafina that starred Whoopi Goldberg as a South African teacher and a Barbara Walters’ 20/20 special interviewing white and black Afrikander children. The latter blew me away as these young white kids spoke about their black neighbors as if they weren’t even human. Simply put, Mandela coined the truth when he said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of their skin… People must learn to hate.”

As a high school peace-junkie of sorts, I marched against Apartheid, wrote letters to the newspapers, and penned the words, “Free South Africa” on my jean cut-offs. And I recall like it was yesterday the time when a fellow student jeered at the words on my shorts, asking, “Free them from what?” and then laughing because he never wanted to know the answer. He just wanted to poke fun and embarrass me.

I didn’t respond. Not verbally anyway.

Mandela and his choice to stay in prison even when he could have complied with the government moved me more than any modern-day act of peaceful rebellion. Because his freedom meant little if his people were still mistreated and imprisoned by a system that denied basic human rights.

One of the highlights of my short life thus far happened shortly after the news of Mandela’s release from prison. With my dad and best friend, we attended Mandela’s speaking event at Tiger Stadium, and I cried the moment he emerged from the curtains and took the podium. Before he spoke a word, I cried like a baby, because he symbolized something far greater by being there than even his words could say.

He was walking freedom. A million prayers answered. And hope alive.

President Obama said it well when he described Nelson Mandela as a man who showed what a life led by hope instead of fear can look like. Mr. Mandela, your life lived for others and your quest to not give up will stay with me forever. Rest in Peace, man of peace.

You are loved. You will be missed.

May the lessons you taught—with your words and your life—live on.

Tis the Season to Go Swimming!

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Looking for GIFT ideas for a friend or family member? Got any teens in your life who need a Good Read this Season? Want to stuff someone’s stocking with CLOUDS!! NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT!! Just in time for Christmas!! 

AVAILABLE on Amazon! Less than $10. Tis the Season to go Swimming

Facebook Confessions 101

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These lists that circulate Facebook, requesting audience participation, connecting friend to friend, kind of like Tag meets Truth or Dare,  are…AWESOME. For the most part. Every once in a while, they annoy me. Like when someone comes up with those, LIST all the friends in your box, and come to find out you’re the one running around the loony bin. Um. Nekid. Yeah, even spelling the word makes me squirm.

 

But the confessions by the number dealio I kinda like. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy reading all the, “And I never told anyone, but …” peeling back of layers of surface. I feel like I know all of you better. Okay, most of you. Okay, not really. But it’s still been fun.

 

And, because I’m a writer who nearly always wears her heart on her sleeve, I find it natural to LIKE nearly every post I read with the number sharing facts UNTIL… a comment wasn’t the only thing that got you pinned as the next victim. Someone did a switcheroo and typed, “If you LIKE this, I’ll give you a number.” And I did. Like several. In my ignorance, I didn’t read the fine print. But somehow, and if anyone get’s the award for the most frequently glitched user, it would be me, I didn’t get tagged.

 

So, instead of pouting all alone on this side of the screen, I thought I’d post one anyway, in an act of rebellious participation. How’s that for the coined oxymoron of the week? :) Continue reading

It’s Rather Simple Really: A Nomi Network Post

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Happy Monday Morning, everyone. I know many of you have been losing sleep over the cut on my knee from the other day, just dying to know what happened? Well the wait is over! Read the deets over at Nomi Network and be prepared to take another walk around the block of my u-turn directional life. I don’t know about you, but when life keeps U-turning me to the same message, something tells me I need to wake up and pay attention. Just sayin…

***

And in other news…

More about Nomi Network!

A MegaGiveaway that is still Brewing!

Swimming Through Clouds still the best deal in town for only $2.99 at Amazon!

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Someone, anyone, wanna come over and rake some leaves with me? Leaf Pile pics are calling my name. It’s that time of year when I need to decide just how criminal I’m gonna get in the name of tradition. :)

Would You Let Someone In Your Brain? Pacific Rim…A Movie Review of Sorts


DSCN2653With Hubs on vacation this week, he’s had three main goals. One, to fix the tree house. Two—to sleep in. When you’re a doc, sleep is like water or oxygen, you value it with your life. And three—to watch movies and basketball, specifically Bulls’ games. 

Well, the tree house is under construction, and the new roof is coming along. Learned some new words this week, like gambrel, jig and truss. And can’t forget gussets. Sure, the house will look more like a barn when it’s all said and done, but the key is SHE LIVES! Yep, the tree house is like our sixth family member, and we’re so thankful the Town of Oyster Bay gave her a permit to live on! And provide many more days and years of climbing, swinging and sliding fun. And of course, Hubs is already dreaming of ways to make it bigger and badder than before. The good kinda bad. Does anyone still say that, anymore?  Continue reading

Fall is for Falling in Love! Swimming Through Clouds-MEGA Giveaway!

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My favorite season of the year is fall. Not summer with her hot sun and trips to the beach. Not winter with her sled rides and snow angels. Not spring with her rainy days and scent of blossoms.

But fall. With her reds and yellows and oranges swaying on and off branches. Sparkles of floating embers from bonfires in the evenings. And the crunch of leaves beneath my boots on early morning walks. Okay, afternoon walks. You know I’m not a morning person. :)

amazon STCTalia and Lagan, the main characters in Swimming Through Clouds, met in the fall of their senior year in high school. To celebrate their unforgettably sticky, Post-it love story, I’m declaring fall as the best time to fall in love. :) And no better way to celebrate than with a MEGA-Giveaway with lots of Fun Fall Prizes including a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Fifteen Winners will win over $150 worth in prizes. You could be one of them! So whatcha waitin’ for? The Swimming Through Clouds family invites you to jump into our pile of prizes and find plenty of ways to rack up your chances to be a winner. See you in November when the Lucky 15 will be announced! Happy Swimming, all!

Hugs,

Raj
CLICK ON a Rafflecopter giveaway 

To JUMP Into a PILE Of Prizes you won’t want to LEAVE behind!

**NOTE: Open to U.S. and Canadian Residents only.

**AMAZON $50 Gift Card Reserved for one Lucky Amazon Reviewer. Because I want to say thank you for sharing your honest take on my first book. AND your questions and concerns are actively shaping the sequel!! :)

***

Have you read Swimming Through Clouds? Have you told your neighbors? Facebook Friends? Mother, sister, BFFs, and teenagers at the park? They say #wordofmouth is still the best way to spread good news!! :)

Details BELOW: MAKE SURE TO ENTER on THE RAFFLECOPTER

UP TO 50 Chances to Put Your Name in the Hat! 

WHAT ARE THE PRIZES?

  • 1 $50 Amazon Gift Card (Only open to Amazon Reviewer Participants!)
  • 1 $25 Starbucks Card for all you Java Lovas!
  • 1 TALIA Blue GIFT Bag of nail polish, lip gloss, Peppermint Bubblegum and a Cloudy-Blue Rainbow-Loom Bracelet!!
  • 5 Winners will receive CANDY!! Treats no tricks! Chocolate, of course!!
  • 7 Winners will receive Swimming Through Clouds Post-its!!

HOW CAN PEOPLE ENTER?

  • +Tweet about the Giveaway
  • +Leave a Blog Post Comment
  • +Follow @rajdeeppaulus on Twitter
  • +Like Rajdeep Paulus on Facebook
  • +2 Like Rajdeep Paulus Author Page on AMAZON
  • +10~ Read the FREE Chapters of Swimming Through Clouds on AMAZON.~
  • +10~ Share your thoughts on Swimming Through Clouds with an Amazon Review!~
  • +10~ Post a Clouds PIC on Twitter of Facebook! With Amazon Link!
  • +10~ Show me some Pinterest or Instagram Love! With Amazon Link!~

WHEN DOES IT START/END?

All times are in Eastern Time (US & Canada). 

  

  

TERMS & CONDITIONS

NOTE: U.S. and Canadian Residents ONLY

Pink Boxing Gloves – Four Years Free

AMC_8415If you’ve followed my blog from the beginning, you know a little about my sister’s battle with Breast Cancer. I wrote Pink Boxing Gloves and Pink Boxing Gloves-Three Year Later, because my sister’s favorite color is Pink. And she’s a fighter!

This October marks her four-year anniversary since she got the clear that she’s  free, and each time she gets a check up, there’s the holding her breath moment right before the doctor says, “We’re good. See you in six months.”

Saw a woman the other day wearing a baseball hat over her completely bald head and was instantly reminded of that time, not that long ago, when my sister lost her hair due to chemo. And if you’re a girl, few things compete with the loss of your crown, your hair, a woman’s glory. Continue reading

Gravity. And Things That Ground Me.

photo-44On a spontaneous Saturday afternoon date, Hubs and I jumped into a “borrowed” dark silver Mini and sped down side streets to catch a 3:20 showing of the new movie, Gravity. Our friend, the owner of the Cooper, left her car in exchange for our SUV to accommodate our kids for a girls afternoon of baking creme brule, eating pizza and watching Cars Two. [Thanks, Ruby!] And when the kids were away, the parents, who could be productive, chose to play.

 

And Clooney and Bullock delivered, Sandra stealing the show. Of course. After enduring the many minutes of silence in Tom Hanks’ Castaway, Life of Pi was a huge step up between the Tiger and the brilliant narration, but in general, I’m wary of movies where a single character must carry the bulk of the scenes, flying solo. And in the case of Gravity, Sandra Bullock was literally flying solo in her topsy-turvy Survivor meets Lost meets Lost in Space. [Okay, Lost might be a stretch, but I like to think that the theme/phrase, “We have to go back!” kinda worked itself in there, so I’m going with it. :) ] Continue reading