Seeing Through Stones – A Book Review & Author Interview

Time for inside baseball stuff. One of the greatest benefits of being an author (unpublished, but I do write) is that you get to read other people’s books before they’re published. I have had the honor of being a beta reader (looking for goof ups and plot problems) for a few people, and I’m also lucky enough to have read this book in preparation for its launch. That’s how the Amazon.com reviews get up there the day the book hits the shelf – some of us have read it in advance.

Seeing Through Stones

Seeing Through Stones

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That being said, I don’t review books I didn’t like. Silence is golden and I have elected to be nice and not say anything unless I love the book. I love this book. Alot.

I now provide the link for the book on Amazon.com: Seeing Through Stones. Go and get a copy. You won’t regret it.

I met Rajdeep Paulus at my first ACFW convention in Saint Louis. She didn’t once hit me with any solid objects. Given my general level of social grace, that is a plus. We became friends and I have enjoyed seeing her at this annual event. Her first book, Swimming Through Clouds, was one of the 3 best books I read last year when it came out. Yup, that good. I could hardly wait for the sequel, praying that it wouldn’t disappoint me. My prayers were answered: it is every bit as magnificent as the debut novel.

Without further ado, my review of the book. (Followed below the fold by an interview with the author.)

Seeing Through Stones Requires A Diamond – It Is A Gem

I am not the typical reader of Young Adult (YA) fiction, but that is not to say that I don’t love the stories. I have read lots of YA in the past few years because a few of my friends write in that genre. Most of it is okay, some of it is dreadful, and a few rare gems emerge among the crushed rock left behind by my withering sarcasm.

Seeing Through Stones, by Rajdeep Paulus, is one of those gems that readers dream of in their search for diamonds and rubies on the shelves of the local book seller. Her second novel, a sequel to Swimming Through Clouds, it is a magnificent story that may be one of the best novels out there in dealing with domestic abuse.

As a former cop, I know what domestic abuse can do to the victims. I know that the scars, both emotional and physical, mar the lives of the victims in ways that most never understand. Paulus has let us into the world and provided a story that not only grips the reader, but lights a fire in your soul to fight against the villains.

Only the darkest nights, free of the city’s lights, can reveal the most distant and brilliant stars. Paulus lights the firmament with a story of hope that bleeds through in pinpricks of light from ancient stars and eventually illuminates the world with a supernova of freedom and release from bondage.

This is a tale of more than slaps and hair twisting; it is a revelation of the darkest corners of human trafficking and abuse. It is extremely well done, thoughtful, terrifying, and beautiful.

Yes, beautiful. Only by facing the darkness can we find the light. Rajdeep Paulus has balanced all of the needed elements in a work that should gather her five stars and a larger audience.

I can’t wait for the next book.

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1. You don’t have a dog. But if you did, why would you name it Beacon?

Well, first of all, my pretend dog would be named, Bacon, not Beacon, so pigs of all sizes would fear him. And secondly, he’d be the kind who sits by my feet while I type to keep my toes warm through this arctic winter. Yep. Love me my Bacon!

2. You write Young Adult fiction at this point in your career. Have you considered another genre? If so, what would it be?

At this point, I think I’ll stick with the teen life and YA world. Feels like a good fit, but things could change in the future. Perhaps a non-fiction book or two are in my future. I certainly have enough material to write one on parenting girls. 🙂

3. Like a lot of kids who grew up in an immigrant household, you are a pretty good mimic. Who’s your favorite target and why?

Not sure if [s]he’s a target, but she makes me laugh with her ethnic spoofs on YouTube. She goes by the name SuperWoman, a South Asian girl growing up in Canada who is Cu-RAzzy!

4. The characters in your books are vividly drawn. Not so much in physically descriptive terms, but as people with unique personalities. Where do you draw these writing skills from? How can readers who yearn to write pick up this ability?

Wow! Thanks for those encouraging words. Hmm… I think it all comes with practice. Walking in other people’s shoes (fictionally speaking) and trying to see the world from their perspectives. Honestly, I’m still stumbling through and excited to keep honing this part of the craft.

5. You’re from Chicago (kind of…) and a Bulls fan but you live in New York. Have there been any attempts on your life for wearing Bulls gear at those games?

I haven’t been jumped. Yet. But when we get a rare chance to go to a Bulls’ game at MSG, we generally hide our red and black while walking into a game until we spot other Chicago fans. That’s when the fun starts!

6. Your daughters are your princess’. Have you thought about writing a children’s book incorporating them in the story?

Great question! I would love to co-write a book with my thirteen year old. She has a writerly brain like her mama! Maybe we’ll start tackling a project this summer.

7. What has been the toughest part of independently publishing your books?

I think this might go for anyone who is newly published, whether traditionally or self, and that is the challenge to find venues to tell new readers about your books. But they say you have to spend just as much time marketing as you do writing, so trying to have fun with it as I find bloggers, reviewers and book clubs out there. Definitely a nice way to connect with book people but a LOT OF WORK!!

8. Is your husband as wacky as you are? If so, can you share an example?

Ha. You guessed it. He might even be considered a notch or two higher in the Crae-Crae department, but he tends to save his goofiness for the family whereas I tend to put on a show for just about anyone. That’s the off-the-charts extrovert in me that just loves a willing audience. Even if it’s my make-believe dog named, Bacon. 😉

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So, there you have it: a five-star book that you will truly enjoy. The link for buying the book is next to Rajdeep’s picture. I know you’ll love the book as much as I did.

Rajdeep Paulus

Rajdeep Paulus

I know you’re ready so get on over to Amazon.com: Seeing Through Stones. Go and get a copy. You won’t regret it.

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