Mauri Published. I did it. Again.

Mauri, Book 2 of Abhaya collection, rather the continuation of the story of Abhaya, but from the point of view of Mauri, the daughter of commander Mura is Live on Kindle.

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I did it. Again. Passed through the whole journey. Again. The euphoric feeling of hitting upon a story idea, the feverish phase of plotting. The high phase of starting the manuscript, the drudging patches of self doubt, writing blocks, editing woes, pre launch jitters and what not, but finally hit the publish button! I went through it all. Again. IT makes me feel delirious. It makes me feel fulfilled. It makes me feel like myself. I pray and hope that I undertake this journey again and again and again.

I remember the headless chicken mode I was in after hitting the publish button for Abhaya. I remember the neo-published joy followed by that scary lean time which nudged me towards learning every little thing I could to write better, to sell better, to tell stories better, to sell stories better. I trudged on and published Avishi, almost 20 months later. The learning showed up, propelling me to smash the first glass ceiling as a writer and sprint towards the next.

That is exactly why I love doing this journey again. While you, the readers continue to show your love in terms of beautiful moments like the one I felt after seeing this:

Mauri ranking

The journey is what made me what it takes to achieve the above. What did I learn from the latest cycle? You and I will have to wait till I hit the precious publish button. Again.

Until then, Keep your reviews flowing. Be a part of my journey, my #writerslife.

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Cover Reveal – Mauri, Book 2 of Abhaya Collection

Back after a really long hiatus and I have news!

There is going to be a new addition to the Abhaya Universe!

Mauri, the second book of Abhaya collection is set to release on 9th June 2018 on Amazon Kindle Store. Set in the times of Mahabharata, the books explore lesser known stories of the timeless epic of India from the perspectives of strong female protagonists. The opening Title, Abhaya, was released on Kindle store in November 2015 and has received praise from acclaimed authors and reviewers.

“Abhaya allows us to delve into the world of our ancestors and Gods through the route of great storytelling and a brilliant narrative. A thoroughly enjoyable read” – Amish Tripathi

About Mauri

She wanted to kill the man who others called a God.

Love is but an obstacle in her path

With her father’s death shattering her world, Mauri is torn away from everything she had once loved. Anger replacing every emotion within her, she seeks only one thing. To kill her father’s killer. Even if the man is none less than Krishna Vaasudeva, the man who people worshipped as a God! Someone stands in the way, reining in her bitterness when she is least prepared for it. The Rakshasa Prince Ghatotkacha! But by the time love sprouts within her, Mauri has gone too far in her thirst for vengeance.

Can Mauri save herself and Ghatotkacha before the consequences of her own actions can destroy both their worlds?

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Excerpt

The smile on Ghatotkacha’s face faded the moment he saw the figure that had appeared atop the wall. Unknown to him, his fists curled over his club and heart fought against the searing pain of the memory. The memory of betrayal. His intensified gaze and a placid forehead contrasted each other. No more of this. Not now!

Mauri saw him. Like he commanded a new surge of energy after their last meeting. Mauri had little in her defence. And she had other things on her mind before she could take an interest in defending herself. In fact, she had no wish to defend her past actions. Face it! But her predicament sorely needed external help and his demeanour did not leave much hope. Mauri steeled her heart and inhaled. She was going to need all her energies for this!

She forced a smile onto her lips and looked at him, trying to summon her old self. “So, we have visitors!” she thundered, glancing at his small band of Rakshasa followers. “But I regret to inform you that the temple is closed to pilgrims indefinitely.”

“Closed to pilgrims, open to monstrous rogues and their heartless little minions.” Ghatotkacha retorted. “Perhaps there needs to be a change.”

Her guilt notwithstanding, Mauri was not going to brook being called names, much less, being called a minion to a crafty coward like Alambusha. Still, his pain when he uttered the word ‘heartless’ did not go unnoticed by her. Her frown narrowed, fighting back any traces of regret. In vain though. “Change comes at a price, Rakshasa Prince, sorry, King. Though I must say the population under your command has dwindled too much for one to still consider you a king.” She could see his annoyance mounting. Something amused her about it. “So tell me what you can pay, Ghatotkacha!”

Ghatotkacha threw his head up and shrugged looking around. “I would have loved to play a game of word parlay. Except this is no stage and there is no audience to enjoy the exchange.” His eyes betrayed impatience. “I come to keep a promise. A promise of protection that was given to this sacred place under the rule of my uncle, Emperor Yudhishtira. My demand is clear, daughter of late commander Mura. Open the gates, surrender the rogue Rakshasa traitors to me. Open up this temple of the Supreme Goddess to those who deserve to see Her.”

“I asked for a price you could pay and you repeat the demand. By the Goddess, someone needs to grow up!” Mauri sneered back and leaned against a pole, feigning nonchalance. This was all going nowhere—her show of hostility, his mounting anger, Dhatri’s life in danger, and Alambusha preferring to hide inside the inner circle. She needed to break away. She struck upon a frantic plan, praying all Gods for its success. “There seems to be only one language you understand. Defeat me, and you can have a free pass inside.”

Read More from Mauri, to be released on 9th of June 2018 only on Amazon Kindle.

An evening at Novel London

Reading out the first chapter of your novel to an audience enthusiastic about reading and writing in a small world of books, be it a book store or a library, is an exhilarating experience. It is so much different from the the usual blitzkrieg of a book launch or a tea talk with a kind celebrity who pulls crowds for you. Because at Novel London, you are reading out to the best audience you can get, all of them authors, published or soon to be published. Your first chapter is heard by those who are stationed in the various milestones of this beautiful journey of writing.

Novel London is such an initiative by Safeena Chaudhry (author of Companions of Clay) to provide a platform for upcoming authors. Must say Safeena takes a lot of care to ensure voices are represented from all over the world. The monthly reading events, usually held on the first Friday of every month are a must attend for book lovers in London. I had come across Novel London’s events through some Meetup groups earlier this year, but had not pushed myself thinking that my genre might not be of interest to the Western audience. Destiny had other plans and I ran into Safeena herself during London Book Fair in April after which she took the efforts to slot the reading of Abhaya into an appropriate theme and proactively followed up. I totally loved the rehearsal session and Safeena being a professional with Video making, had some great tips to share about public reading/speaking.

On Aug 5 2016, I got to read the first chapter of Abhaya for “An Evening of Theosophical Fiction” along with Adam Bethlehem who read out from his second novel, The Universal Theory of Immigration (highly recommend it). Swedenborg Society, Bloomsbury made for a perfect location. It was worth noting, the amount of literature one man (Emanuel Swedenborg) could write and inspire.

Here is the video of my reading out the first chapter of Abhaya -. Was pleasantly surprised to see the amount of interest the reading generated among the audience gathered during the event. (Adam bought the Kindle edition on the spot!) It was a proof that audience irrespective of their ethnicity would really connect with your writing when they feel it coming from your heart. Do watch and leave your comments below.

Also, please don’t forget to visit Novel London ‘s Website and do attend the future events. I’ll not miss it while I am in London 🙂

My first novel Abhaya, live on Kindle Store

It is a memorable moment when your first novel goes live. Abhaya and the world she lived in were in my thoughts constantly all through in the last five years and it gave me a surge of mixed feelings when I let the book go out into the market. It was a feeling akin to seeing your child go to school on her own!

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Sangeeta Bahadur, author of Kaal Trilogy had some gracious words to share about Abhaya :

“An excitingly different take on one of the myriad legends celebrating the light vs darkness matrix that defines Diwali. The sparkling narration adds new facets to the compelling tale of the killing of the demon, Narakasur”

Reviews are pouring in as the book is gathering its initial traction. I am happy with my decision to go indie with publishing it on Kindle. A pleasant surprise that Kindle threw on the very second day was by listing it as the second best selling among the fantasy novels on Kindle Store!

Abhaya Sales rank

Hope you all find the book as exciting as some of the initial readers are finding it. Here is the brief :

An assertive and idealistic Princess Abhaya meets the enigmatic Krishna Vaasudeva. A bereaved Dhatri, hounded by her own family is saved by Lord Bhauma. When subverted religion becomes a tool in the hands of power thirsty and strikes Bharatavarsha, the land of Aryas, Abhaya finds herself face to face with the impending doom.

“Can we combat the fear with faith? Can we keep our faith undeterred when the last traces of hope melt away? Can we receive blame and adulation, accept them and yet not give in to them?”

The book is available exclusively on Kindle Store . Do please check out and let me know your honest reviews. Looking forward for the rich learning that would follow this immensely fulfilling journey.