Perfect Clouds Blog Tour Giveaway Extravaganza!

PerfectClouds1Twenty-One Days!

10 Prizes!

Starting JUNE 1st!

Get your Summer YA Read ON!

You don’t want to miss this!

Follow the tour and you’ll uncover fun facts about the authors Laura Anderson Kurk, of the beautifully written Glass Girl and equally poignant sequel Perfect Glass, and Rajdeep Paulus, debut author of Swimming Through Clouds and their novels.

Each day, the amazing Blogger team will share fun facts, quote graphics and daily uncover pieces to two Story Puzzle Pictures that ultimately share lines from Lagan and Henry. Something the boys would want to someday tell Talia and Meg, respectively.

*JUST don’t forget to scroll down all the way so you DON’T MISS the Raffle!!  Continue reading

Swimming Through Clouds… The Road to June 1st

sun rises every day2June 1st.

Who would have thought that when I signed up for the Tough Mudder nine months ago, that this day would also mark the launch of my first book, Swimming Through Clouds.

So for the past months, I’ve been alternating, not always equally, push ups and pen marks. Rewrites and runs. Marketing and marathons. And just when I was supposed to run my first half, my calf gave way. And seconds after I turned in the manuscript for Swimming, I had a name crisis. And for the last two weeks, my neck and left shoulder have been all out of whack. Stress, perhaps? Anxiety over the book release? Definitely.

But the truth is, the day my first book appeared on Amazon, I was fine. No cartwheels or cork popping. Just another day really. Filled with two dozen roses from Mom and Dad and some extra huge smiles and hugs from girls and Hubby, but besides that, the day felt fairly normal.

I’m guessing it’s not too different from a grand opening to a store. Just because the doors swing wide, and several browsers mosey on in, doesn’t mean they’ll buy anything. Or like it enough to come back and tell you. Or even better, tell others to shop there.

So it’s a lot more like a waiting room experience, now that I think about it. But it’s not a bad place to be. Feel so aware that to arrive this far is a blessing beyond measure already. So aware.

Here are the five things I’ve learned about myself this past year and a half from when my dream to be a published author really started to roll out of my  dreams and into reality.

1.  When I think I’ll get more done by not working out and just writing with that time, my back and neck remind me that they will not continue to be nice to me unless I give them chances to stretch and loosen up. Always a fail.

2. Sometimes I enjoy hanging out with my make-believe friends more than real people. Not often. But occasionally :) !

3.  I’m a much better mom when my laptop battery runs out, and I can’t find my iPhone. Yep. It’s true.

4. When I do take time away from a story to play and live and date and play. Did I say that one already? I return to my story with fresh eyes, new experiences, and a refilled tank of energy and enthusiasm. Breaks are crucial!

5. I can lose sight of what’s important when I get caught up in the journey, and I don’t want to be that person. Hot air balloons look pretty in Oz, but don’t let me get carried away. And there’s only one thing. One person. That grounds me. God.

So on June 1st, when the sun rises and I’m tanking up on a high-protein breakfast of Hubby’s famous eggs. When I’m out on the course and swimming in mud up to my elbows, I’ll think of you. As you dive in and go Swimming Through Clouds. :)

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Happy Birthday Book Baby #1! Sending you out into the world with kisses!

To find your place. And remember, you’ll always have a special spot on the bookshelf of my writer’s heart.

It’s your time. Make a splash! And swim on.

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And you? What have you learned about yourself lately? Any life insights that have dawned on you as you take up life’s latest challenge? Are you a survivor and proud owner of an orange Tough Mudder headband? Any last second advice for this “Not feelin’ so Tough” soon to be Mudder?

 

Where I’ve Been Hanging Out!

Raj

So, in case you don’t have one foot in every Social Media door [yeah, some of us walk on all fours!] you might not know where I’ve been hanging.

 

Here are a few hot spots from the past few weeks in case you’re looking for that girl named, Rajdeep, call me “Raj,” Paulus.

For starters, had a little spotlight thanks to the sweet team over at:

WORDs to DREAMs

GoodREADS

PLAYLIST FICTION

 

and

LAURA KURK’s Su-weet Blog! where Glass Girl‘s author took the time to ask yours truly a bunch of questions, and this girl who wears her heart on her sleeve, put her sleeve out there. Enjoy!! And thanks so much Laura, for taking the time to give me such a gracious and firework intro!

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And you? What would be your dream job if there were no limits? Money, time, sky or otherwise? Have you ever won anything in an online GIVEaway?? Keep an on-line ear out cuz in a couple of weeks, Laura and I are kicking off a “Perfect Clouds YA Blog Tour,” to kick off the launch of the JUNE Playlist Fiction Releases, Swimming Through Clouds and Perfect Glass! Full of Blog hops and supa-fun book Swag GiveAways! You won’t want to miss it!

A Rose By Any Other Name…

flowerwordsWhat’s in a name? Really? Why is a person’s name so important?

Shakespeare addressed this ageless question in the infamous play, Romeo and Juliet. He answered with, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But come on, with names like Romeo and Juliet, they were destined for a million versions of their story told and retold for centuries to come. The names bleed romance and unrequited love. Wouldn’t you say?

So, yes, a name is just a name, but when writers rack their brains for perfect names for their characters, it’s not too different from the grueling task of naming one’s children. Seriously. I often thought to myself, if I choose the wrong name, this character will be stuck with the destiny of waking up with bad name day—a much worse condition that bad hair. Continue reading

Dive into Masala-Marinated YA Fiction

Featured

                                                  AVAILABLE NOW!!!    

 

 

                       Swimming Through Clouds Front Cover March24 2015SeeingThroughStones_Front_Cover_April2015

 

Awards for Swimming Through Clouds

B.R.A.G. Medallion for Young Adult Fiction

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

  

                           

If You could “Revise” your Life, Would You?

Stephanie

 

Stephanie Morrill, Creator of GoTeenWriters, wrote a new book. Within a book. Sort of. Think Inception with a YA twist, but no one wakes up tied to a chair or sitting at a desk spinning a top. But her main character, Ellie Sweet, is a writer. And Ellie takes her “real” world and rewrites it into a fictional piece full of Lady’s, Princes, catty dames, sword duels and the whole nine yards. The people in her life, high schoolers in and out of her circle of friends, become fodder for her characters and scenes.

But the funny thing is her Prince Charming changes names. Because just when she thought she knew who she was falling in love with, at her high school, she finds herself drawn to another Prince, the kind whose crown isn’t apparent to the naked eye.

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet is not your typical YA Read but I simply loved it. And I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I can tell you this: For a writer/reader who tends to choose sides (Team Edward, Team Gale, and Team Sawyer *from Lost) within the first few encounters of a story, I can say that this is the first time I didn’t choose. Because I couldn’t. Until right near the end of the book. I totally fell in love. Twice! I guess there’s always a first time for everything.

Stephanie Morrill Low ResMorrill’s fun YARead is available to DOWNLOAD Tomorrow at www.playlistfiction.com – a clickity click away! And you can always peruse the first pages on Amazon to get a taste test! Reviews are up too if you’re interested. Excited for you all to meet Ellie. She’s Sweet, in the most wonderful way! :)

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Have you read anything good lately, Young Adult-Fictionally speaking? Do Share! Have you checked out the other selections at Playlist Fiction? The library is a’ growin! :)

Masala on the Mic!

2013-03-07 19.59.10Thursday morning arrives and I am a different person. Even a year ago, I might have spent weeks preparing for a speaking event. Thought of what I was going to say days ahead of time. Picked my outfit the night before. And rehearsed plenty before the day of.

Today is different. Because I learned something from the past. All that extra prep just makes me nervous. And I get more antsy than if I just plan minimally, think through the basics, and leave the details for the day of. 

So I wake up, thank God for kids who help me with laundry, and thank God again that we replaced the ink cartridge on the printer a day ago. Print out a few pages, pick out a black dress (can’t go wrong with black,) and head out to  get my hair blown out. Simply because it doesn’t cost much and when my hair looks nice, I feel like I can fly. Or at least have a bit of confidence in front of strangers.  Continue reading

Masala in Prose

masala

“Are you a writer?” pops up on my computer screen about a month ago.

Ummm? Depends on who’s asking.

“Yes.” I type my reply. I suppose it couldn’t hurt to tell this stranger since it’s not like I’m telling him where I live or that I’ll be vacationing in Bermuda from August 7 though the 15th, the perfect time to rob my house. 

“Are you published?” Next question pops up.

I should ask you the same thing. Or at least, Hello, what did you say your name was? 

“Funny you should ask,” I type, “My first book, Swimming Through Clouds, launches this June.”

“Great. Would you like to read a little bit at my book reading event?”

As in, out loud? And, wow! Really? Me? 

“Sure. I mean, yes! I’d love to. What did you say your name was?” Continue reading

Crush Me… Part Seven

http://www.stockfreeimages.com/

http://www.stockfreeimages.com/

Welcome back to Friday Fiction! Crush Me began almost seven weeks ago, in my attempt to introduce myself as a YA Fiction writer. Not just a writer of whimsical events in my daily life. :) With my debut novel launching in June, I want to give you a taste of my fiction voice. To be honest, Meena’s story in Crush Me is new for me each week. I’m discovering it only days, sometimes hours before you read it. So bear with the rough edges. :) And, if you’re stopping in for the first time, take a short detour to the start of Meena’s story and I’ll meet you back here in a few! Thanks, always, for reading.

*Hugs* -Raj

Crush Me: Part One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six

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Part Seven:

The first time. Nothing like the first time. Once in a while something triggers and I remember the first time I cut like it was yesterday.

As I bypass the girl’s restroom, widening the distance between Gage and me, wishing foolishly to return to the time I didn’t know. Couldn’t tell. Hadn’t seen. His feelings for me. That look in his eyes when he said, “I care about you,” and opened Kermit’s heart, punctuating his find with “It’s broken,” he let me see him. A peek into his own heart. And I wasn’t ready. Never asked. And now I’m wondering if he thinks I wanted him see a part of me. My cut. On purpose. An invitation to share a secret? But does it matter anymore? I can’t undo the day. Just like I can’t undo the first time. Continue reading

Crush Me … Part Six

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Part One,

Two,

Three,

Four,

Five.

“I’ll take your books, Dude.” Ben picks up Jay’s stack before he can oppose.

Jay shoots me a shoulder shrug, follows Ben toward the door and then turns to say, “I’ll catch you at lunch?” He’s talking to me. Catch? Already caught. So caught up in you, I can barely manage a nod.

I rise to hurry to my third period, Bio lab. Gage and I are lab partners, our desk next to the window looking out to the school courtyard. Perfect place to daydream on write up days. Today is a lab day, Operation Dissect Kermit, phase one. Continue reading