Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey by Lopamudra Banerjee – Book Blitz

THWARTED ESCAPE: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey

Lopamudra Banerjee


How far can one truly go away from his/her ancestral roots, filial ties and the claustrophobic grip of traditions and the reminiscence of an emotionally fraught childhood and puberty? The book begins with this particular quest, and it is this quest which gains momentum as a woman seeks the essence of herself-identity ten thousand miles away from her Bengali hometown. 
With the lens of a time-traveler, her narrative journey encompasses her first sexual abuse, her first tryst with death, austerity, the strangeness of rituals, the inexplicable feelings of puberty and also her surrendering to love, procreation, motherhood. In herself-chosen exile in the US, she discovers that deep within; her ancestral roots are also the wellspring of her psychological, spiritual existence. In the process, she keeps on oscillating between assimilating and disintegrating, which forms the core of her journey. 

Order your copy @                     Flipkart

About the Author

Lopamudra Banerjee is a writer, poet, editor and translator, currently based in Dallas, USA. She is the co-editor of Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas, published by Readomania in collaboration with Incredible Women of India. She has also been the Creative Editor of Incredible Women of India and Deputy editor of the e-zine Learning & Creativity.

Thwarted Escape, her debut nonfiction novel/memoir has been First Place Category Winner at the Journey Awards 2014 hosted by Chanticleer Reviews and Media LLC, USA. Her literary works have appeared at numerous literary journals and anthologies (print and online), both in India and the US. Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction and also translation works are regularly published in Setu, the international bilingual journal, Cafe Dissensus, Different Truths, and other publications. She has received the Reuel International Award 2016 for her English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s novella Nastanirh (The Broken Home) instituted by The Significant League, a renowned literature group in Facebook.

You can stalk her @

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I Know

Suddenly I realise how the serpent got into the Garden

He must have got in through WhatsApp

Eve might have been looking on her smartphone

Checking data in the Heavenly libraries or perhaps the weather forecast

Deciding what fruit to eat must have been a challenge

Apples, mangoes, papayas, whatever

And suddenly, there he was

Someone might have added him to a group she was in

Where they chatted ad infinitum about the glories of the Eternal

Then on a whim, that ‘angel’ in the group opened a direct WhatsApp line

It’s so much more comfortable chatting Eve, without the rest of the group, no?

And she might have wondered who this Lucifer was, this angel of light.

But hey, he was a Seraph, so it must be okay

Don’t tell Adam, okay? You’re such a pretty lady, he’ll just get upset!

We wouldn’t want that dear, would we? No!

Silly, trusting, idiotic Eve,

How were you to know that everyone in the Heavenlies is not good?

Not everyone who preaches is sincere,

Not everyone who says ‘God is great” really means it.

Did he say you were pretty? That Adam must be jealous of anything that takes up your time?

Were you flattered Eve? Be honest, now. How did he get under your skin?

He reassured you, didn’t he? He used sweet words and turned your head.

You didn’t know what you were doing, but he did..

Your naive ignorance was no match for serpentine cunning

Result? The near destruction of humanity..


Image courtesy of Pixabay

Blogging Two Novels for Cancer – Guest Post by Mandy Brittany, author of ‘Photo Time’ and ‘The Cold’

MBB welcomes a very special guest author today – author Mandy Brittany, an old writing friend. We belong to the same short story writing group and have critiqued each other’s work many times. Not that her writing needs much criticism from me, I might add. I’ve always known her as an author with a soothing voice and more than a touch of humour. Her novels Photo Time and The Cold are both available to read online for free. Is there a catch? Sort of…..Mandy Brittany is trying to raise cash for cancer research and she’s requesting anyone who reads and enjoys her two books to donate a minimum of  £2.00 to cancer research at the link provided. That’s €2.35 for those living in the Euro Zone, US$2.48 if you’re in the USA, AU$3.24 if you’re in Australia and ₹84 if you’re in India. This blog has quite an international reach, so if you are unable to access Mandy’s donation link, you could always donate to a local cancer charity instead. But you could let her know you’ve done it so she’ll have a fair idea how much she’s raised. We are doing this on an honour system, so no one is going to check up on you, but this is a cause close to many hearts, so please donate for this worthwhile cause. In her guest post (we decided to keep it short and mostly focus on the books), she shares why she’s taken up this particular cause. I lost my lovely parents to this dreaded disease, so I’m giving Mandy Brittany my full support on this.

You can find the donation page here

Guest Post from Mandy Brittany, author of ‘Phototime’ and ‘The Cold’

Why I’m blogging my novels

The Cold and Phototime are up and ready to read on my blogs, with the hope of raising money for cancer research.
The reason I’m blogging my novels is because my sister has been battling terminal cancer for three years, and I often feel at a loss. So I thought I would try to do something to raise funds for her and everyone else who has suffered or is suffering from this rotten disease which touches so many lives in a destructive way. 

You can read both novels for free, of course, but if you read and enjoy and would like to donate a small amount of (approximately) £2 to my ‘Just Giving” page, that would be fantastic. I’ve already raised £277, which, as far as I’m concerned, is amazing!

And now, the books!

The Cold by Mandy Brittany

The Cold is a suspense novel with a twist

Isla Johnson survived an attack by serial killer Carl Jeffery six years ago, which left her physiologically damaged.

Now, after being happy with Jack for three years, things have taken a turn.  An odd university reunion arranged by her first boyfriend, sightings of someone dressed like Carl Jeffery and who is the mysterious Andy?   Is Isla in danger, or is she losing her mind?

You can read The Cold here

Phototime by Mandy Brittany

At the age of 23, Isaac’s dad has died, his mum has disappeared in Australia and he’s fallen in love.

He meets Cillian, a man in his fifties, who is on a quest of his own to find his long lost brother.

Cillian teaches Isaac about Phototime – a way of visiting the five minutes after a photograph was taken – and the unlikely pair set out on a comical, magical adventure that takes Isaac on a journey into manhood.

You can read Phototime here

Author Bio of Mandy Brittany

Mandy Brittany has had over 150 stories published in magazines in the UK and globally, and articles published in writing and historical magazines. She has also been shortlisted in writing competitions and had a local history book published. She’s the proud owner of a Creative Writing Diploma and Literature Degree.

His Christmas Delight by Summerita Rhayne: Book Blitz

 Today, MBB welcomes the talented Summerita Rhayne, who’s come to spread the word about her enchanting release, His Christmas Delight, which is a great read all year round. If you’ve ever wondered how Christmas is celebrated in India, now is your chance to find out. The book was released on 27th March, 2016.


Caught by Santa!

For Myra, Christmas means supporting her friends. They rallied round getting her back on her feet after she lost Pete, her husband, so she’s always ready to help any of them. No matter to what lengths the challenge makes her go. Only she didn’t expect to find Santa almost catching her in her wrongdoings. Then she finds that the handsome Santa is Jay, her old high school friend. Now he’s changed from a gangly geek to an attractive stranger. After missing out on the dating scene for a long time after losing Pete, she feels the first stirring of desire. But Jay is playing hot and cold, refusing to admit the attraction sizzling between them.
He’s back in Goa just for Christmas.

Jay knew Myra as his best friend’s girl. Now Pete is gone, but Jay is finding difficult to let go of the scars he picked up during Coast Guard service. He’s home only to help revive his brother’s toy shop. When he finds himself making excuses to stay, he knows he’s crossing the limits he’d set himself. What’s the purpose in taking this further when he knows he cannot be the one to give her the happiness she deserves? But no matter how hard he tries, the scorching flames of wanting only seem to get stronger. How can he keep on denying the attraction between them when she insists on coming close?

Grab your copy:  Amazon    Amazon UK  Amazon India  Amazon Australia

Free on Kindle Unlimited
Check it out on: Goodreads

Author Bio:

Author Summerita Rhayne is a lady who loves to keep her personal and professional life separate and has pretty much mastered the art of doing just that.  She writes sensual romance which is sheer escapism with lots of emotional conflict. She first got published in 2013 and has won contests with prestigious publishers such as Harlequin and Harper Collins India. Writing, she finds, is the only way to deal with the numerous story ideas bubbling in her brain which pop up more rapidly than her keyboard can do deal with. Her pet belief is that even when writing time is in short supply, if the inspiration is strong enough, the story characters get a life of their own and will find a way to make the writer pen them down. When cerebrally confronted with the sizzling interaction of two Alpha characters, the only way to get peace is write their book! 

At heart, she’s a family person and even though she loves her medical teaching profession, she happily becomes a homemaker when not at work. She loves winding down with music, movies, cricket (strictly watching only) and social networking.

You can stalk author Summerita Rhayne at her web links: 

Facebook          Twitter          Goodreads

Watch out for my review of  HIS CHRISTMAS DELIGHT – coming shortly. Maria MBB

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Readers Beware! 5 Reasons Not To Read ‘Behind Our Lives’ by Charlene Carr

Author Charlene Carr

Our MBB guest poster today, author Charlene Carr, is hella talented, but you won’t find her begging you to buy her new book anytime soon. In fact, if you’re not the type of reader who would appreciate her, she’ll happily advise you to take your business elsewhere – in the nicest possible way, of course. In this guest post, she gives you five reasons not to buy her book.

Charlene Carr on the Web:

Website  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Goodreads  Instagram

Author Bio:  Charlene Carr is a lover of words. After travelling the globe for several years and working as a freelance writer, editor, and facilitator, she decided the time had come to focus on her true love—novel writing.  Charlene writes fiction full of thought and heart. Her endings may not always be ‘happy’, but she always ends with hope. She is the author of seven novels and one novella. She lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and loves exploring the amazing coastline of her harbour town, dancing up a storm, and striving to live a life well lived!

Freebie Alert: The first two books in Charlene Carr’s women’s fiction series are available for free by signing up for her mailing list at

Behind Our Lives by Charlene Carr: 5 reasons to  avoid! Guest post by author Charlene Carr

  • It’s not an escapist read. I love what one early reviewer said about the book “No alpha male. No skinny, perfect blonde. No mansion in the big city. No exceptional sex. Pure, honest, scary, and hopeful … realistic.” This reader found the book too realistic. She reads for escape and wants a guaranteed happy ending. Which is cool. Life can be sucky. And if you don’t want to face more struggle in your fiction, more power to you. Just don’t pick up this one. If, however, you enjoy some struggle, complexity, and pain in your fiction because of the way it lets you see the characters grow and change, because it gives you a safe space to work through your own pain (cathartic release, anyone?) then Behind Our Lives by Charlene Carr. is probably an ideal read for you.

  • It’s not your formula romance. If you love stories where the couple meets on page one, hits a few bumps in the road, yet end up together in the end, then this is probably not your book. My only guarantee about Behind Our Lives by Charlene Carr is that this is a story of love. Powerful love. Love that transforms the people it touches. And any romance that comes into that love will be tenuous and scary. But worth it. Oh, so worth it. Whether it lasts or not. If you cherish the beauty of a love that’s as exquisite and hard-earned as a diamond in the rough, this one’s for you.

  • Its characters are not always likable. Nor are they simple. They don’t always make the best choices or act in ways that are socially expected. They’re human. They’re honest and sometimes you’ll want to wring their necks. So if you prefer fiction with characters you’d be excited to invite over for tea or sit beside at your office party, there are thousands of books out there for you. But not this one. If, however, you enjoy a book that stretches you to open your mind and your heart, that gets you to put aside whether or not you like a character and just witness their (fictional) existence, you may glimpse traits in these characters that you’ve seen in yourself. You may question and grow, perhaps, to understand someone in your life (whose neck you’ve always wanted to wring!) just a little better. If so, grab a copy of Behind Our Lives by Charlene Carr.

  • It’s not a story that wraps up neatly and allows you to put it on the shelf once finished, never to return. First off, this is a trilogy. So, right from the start, be aware that aspects of the story will continue into the second and third books. (otherwise, why keep reading? 😊). One of the main plot lines reaches a conclusion in Book One, but it opens up other questions. So if you need your stories tied up tight once you reach the final page, forget it. If, however, you get excited about the prospect of spending more time with characters who’ve worked their way into your mind and heart (even if it’s because you want to give them a good talking to about the fact that they seriously need to smarten up), then Behind Our Lives by Charlene Carr is for you.

  • Okay, so I’m struggling to come up with a fifth reason to put off readers off. This is not a mystery, thriller, zombie, vampire, apocalyptic, erotic, crime, fantasy or middle-grade book. So, if any of these is your favourite genre, you’ll be disappointed. On the other hand, if you love to explore life situations and relationships, Behind Our Lives by Charlene Carr is probably your cup of tea.

Behind Our Lives by Charlene Carr

Behind Our Lives by Charlene Carr

Broken by love,  Lincoln Fraser is back in the city of his birth. He’s been abandoned, betrayed, and doesn’t see how he can ever trust again. Kali Johnson is stuck in a world that feels too much for her. Her husband’s gone, her son won’t talk, and her apartment is full of rats. Fearful she’s failing at life, all she wants is a second chance to make things right.

When a freak accident places Kali and her son in Lincoln’s path, he feels no choice but to help this single mother and her child. Unprepared for the challenge of letting anyone back into his life, Lincoln is faced with a question—continue to shut himself out from the world or slowly let someone in?

Raw, heartbreaking, yet full of hope, Behind Our Lives, Book One in the Behind Our Lives Trilogy, is a story which will leave you wanting more.

Get this book here: Universal Book Link

Guest Post on Author Inspiration: Soulless by MV Kasi

Today, MBB features a guest post by author MV Kasi, on the subject of inspiration. The novel ‘Soulless’ by MV Kasi has recently been released and the author has just completed her blog tour.

MV Kasi, author of ‘Soulless’

Inspiration for ‘Soulless’ by MV Kasi

I don’t really remember the exact inspiration before I started to write this book. I just sat down to start a new book after I had completed my previous novel,’ That Same Old Love’. Initially, it was to be a spin-off for the ‘A Match Made In Hell’ series. But once I had sketched my heroine Sia’s character, I had to stop. I kept thinking about her for a very long time. I knew I couldn’t continue in the same vein as my first book. I couldn’t write Sia’s story as a romantic-comedy. It took me nearly six months to get inside her head and understand her. And once I did, I knew I had to give her a killer story along with an equally awesome complex hero who would complement her. It pushed me out of my comfort zone because I hadn’t actually met someone like Sia in real life. Everything I learned about her was through research. There was a point when I became a little too obsessed with her character. 🙂 So ultimately, my inspiration behind ‘Soulless’ was my lead character, Sia.

Inspiration for earlier work

The inspiration for my other books is varied. ‘That Same Old Love’ was written because I wanted to showcase an imperfect heroine who did not fit the norm of what an ideal girl or woman was expected to be. I wrote ‘The Holiday Affair’ to take a breather after a heavy story like ‘Soulless’.  It is a romantic-comedy with a workaholic female main character falling in love with a most unlikely person. I get inspired by real people and situations around me. Sometimes, I also get inspired by fictional characters or an interesting topic that has caught my attention for a long time. I only hope that I never run out of inspiration. 🙂

‘Soulless’ by MV Kasi

‘Soulless’ by MV Kasi
They say when you take revenge you lose a part of your soul. 

But Sia hadn’t felt her soul in a very long time. She only knew crushing fear and helplessness, especially during the nights when she fought and invisible enemy in her nightmares. She spent most of her days desperately trying the gain control of her life while battling her various fears and addictions.
At twenty-three, she’d resigned herself to living the rest of her life fearing the unknown. Until one day, it all changed. Now she knew that the monster from her nightmares was real. She had a strong craving for a swift payback. 

But revenge is a dish best served cold. It requires a complete absence of emotion. So she plots and schemes, preparing herself in every possible way to hunt and destroy her enemy. But every mission, however well planned can go awry. Sometimes it’s because even though one can be soulless, there is always the heart. A very weak and desperate heart which is being stolen by a man. 

A man who is like a bright spark of vivid color in her otherwise dark and dreary life. 

A man who was only supposed to be collateral damage……..

Grab this book here: Amazon (USA) Amazon India  Amazon UK

MV Kasi currently lives in Hyderabad, India with her husband and son. By day, she works for a software company. By night, she gives in to her fascination with exploring human psychology and the various facets of life, in her writing. She has a particular interest in successful people who are not considered ‘normal’ by society’s current standards. Her love for reading has led her to start writing her own books. She enjoys adding depth to her characters and exploring their psychological motivations. Due to the nature of her topics and plots, she does not shy away from writing about sexuality or violence. Despite covering some heavy issues, she likes to infuse humor into her writing.

Follow her on:  Facebook    Twitter    Amazon

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THE GLORIOUS DEAD – A publishing adventure in crowdfunding

After a long hiatus, Maria’s Book Blog (MBB) is again open for business! I’m resuming my book blogging by featuring an old blogging friend. Author Tim Atkinson’s new book, THE GLORIOUS DEAD has been selected  by UNBOUND PUBLISHING.  It’s undergoing a rather unusual publishing process using what’s known as the  crowdfunding method. Tim Atkinson explains it all in this guest post.

The current status of Tim Atkinson’s crowd funded work THE GLORIOUS DEAD stands at 71%

Find Tim Atkinson on the Web:


Everyone has them. We all decide what to share and what to hide and from whom. We shape our story to suit different audiences. And when those audiences meet, things can go disastrously wrong. 

The Glorious Dead

After the Great War, some volunteers stay on after Armistice. They search for the missing, bury the dead and create those iconic military cemeteries. But why are the British dead being buried abroad? And why are these soldiers – men like Jack, who served throughout the War’s bloodiest days – so keen to stay abroad? Are they hiding from something? Their work – clearing battlefields, burying the dead and rebuilding their lives – is the Great War’s last secret. It’s time it was revealed.
 Unbound – the world’s first crowdfunding publisher

The book is currently on the Unbound website, gathering support. Once accepted, the author pitches directly to the reading public who then decides what gets published. It’s exciting, rewarding and a unique opportunity for an author to exchange ideas and share elements of the writing process with supporters.

About me (Tim Atkinson, author of THE GLORIOUS DEAD)

When I was ten, I sat down at the dining room table and wrote an article about my model railway for a magazine called The Railway Modeller. They published it and sent me a cheque for £12 (which was about three months pocket money back then!). From that moment I knew I wanted to be a writer! 

Thanks for sharing, Tim. Pleasure to have you…..

Join the crowd… 

You can check out this unique publishing adventure, read an excerpt and even join in the crowd if you so desire, by going here


Today, MBB welcomes Dayna Steele, who faced a situation many of us will have to one day, if we haven’t done so already – caring for an elderly parent who is slowly forgetting who she is and what she’s here for and even, who her kids are. Dayna faced the challenge with what she describes in her own words as ‘friends, Facebook and a really big glass of wine’. Now her Facebook posts on what could have been seen as a tragic situation but turns into something which can be faced with love and even humour, are available for readers in book form.

What was your relationship with Alzheimer’s disease before your mother’s diagnosis? Did you have any preconceptions about the illness before you started this journey with her?
I like to think I am a fairly well educated and informed person. I knew what Alzheimer’s was and I knew it was called “The Long Goodbye.” Then the diagnosis – and I realized I had no idea how stressful, sad, irritating, confusing, etc this disease is. No one tells you the really rough stuff like the possible violence or cleaning up your own mother’s feces or any number of things like this. You also don’t realize how all encompassing it becomes physically and mentally until you actually have to live it.

 How did the support of your Facebook community impact you through this hard time?
Facebook became my support group. My Facebook community gave me ideas, information, suggestions and laughter and love. And, once I wrote a particularly hard post, I would let go of the negative emotions. It was very cathartic to write and share.

When did you get the idea to turn your Facebook posts into a book?
Literally when so many people started commenting. “I hope you put this in a book.” In fact, the first couple of pages in the book are those words of encouragement from so many followers.

What are you hoping readers will get out of Surviving Alzheimer’s?
Someone once said to me there isn’t a users’ manual on what to do or what is going to happen when you get this diagnosis. I hope this book does become the manual for what to do and how to do it for caregivers everywhere.

SURVIVING ALZHEIMERS – with Friends, Facebook and a really big glass of wine by Dayna Steele

With unfiltered observations and sometimes dark humor, author Dayna Steele chronicled her mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s on Facebook. This collection of Alzheimer’s updates posted on the social media network includes biting humor and raw emotion as Dayna carries you from the diagnosis to the inevitable end. Also included are sections from a neurologist, Long Term Care insurance specialist, other caregivers, documents expert, elder care attorney, and an assisted living advisor. This is a journey way too many of us are going to experience in one way or another. If you have to experience Alzheimer’s and chances are you will – do it like Dayna with love, wit, and wine. 

Get this book here:  Amazon

Guest Post – Inspiration Chaos by Sumana Khan, author of ENCOUNTERS – SOMEONE IS ALWAYS WAITING

In my post on inspiration for Encounters (you can read it here), I touched upon the birth of each story. In this post, once again I’ve been asked to give my take on my inspiration for Encounters. So I thought I’ll focus on the sub-title – Someone’s Always Waiting.

This is going to be a nerdy post. I’m sure all of you have heard of Chaos Theory.  For the uninitiated, let’s start off with simple, predictable systems around us. For example, water boils at 100 deg Celsius. Irrespective of the initial temperature of the water – whether it was ice cold, at room temperature or  lukewarm – it reaches boiling point at 100 deg Celsius. That’s a predictable system. If you plot a graph of temperature of the water (y-axis) against time taken to reach boiling point (x-axis), you’ll probably see a neat slanting line, indicating that temperature increases linearly as time spent on the heat increases. This is an observable phenomenon all over the world. It is linear, predictable, and there is no randomness. In general Newtonian physics that is so ingrained in our education and everyday observation largely deals with such predictable systems. Thus, it is termed as deterministic – you are able to determine results based on past conditions. Or, given the present condition, you can deduce the past condition. You know that if you throw something out of the window, it will only go downwards. You can fairly guess how much force you have to exert to move the sofa. You can fairly predict the time you’ll take to get to a place, based on traffic conditions and how fast you can drive. All this gives us a sense of security. A false sense of power over our environment.

 However there are systems which are seemingly unpredictable. This is because the outcome of the system is extremely sensitive to the minutest parameters of its initial state. Even minute changes in the initial state of the system can cause disproportionately large results. For example, weather is a dynamic system. Unlike the boiling water, there is no saying two similar cloud patters will have the same results. Cricket. There’s no saying what’s going to happen in the next ball, even if you know the pitch, the swing in the ball, the stance of the batsman. Golf. Same story. Stock market. Same. So all these are nonlinear, dynamic systems. The batsman will not score proportionately increasing runs the longer he stands at the wicket – 2 runs in over 1, 4 in over 2 and so on. The chaos theory pertains to such systems. Mind you, it is not that these events are random – they only appear that way. Underneath all that randomness, they are still governed by laws of physics. It’s just that we are not advanced enough to take into account the million initial states, work out the permutations and combinations and predict accurately. This theory was first proposed by a meteorologist, Edward Lorenz. In 1972, He presented a lecture poetically titled as, “Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?” (You can read it here). Thus, the notion of Butterfly Effect took shape.

I believe our lives are ruled by Chaos Theory. We are constantly facing options, sometimes binary, sometimes too many. Every time we make a choice, our lives are altered minutely. It’s like a massive maze – there are seemingly many paths to the exit.  Sometimes, the chaos is so overwhelming – there is too much noise, too much movement and we feel everything is beyond our control – bad relationships at home, at work, no results and so on. And suddenly, everything quietens up. Everything clicks as if a jigsaw puzzle has been rearranged. Everything makes sense. When we reflect on these episodes, we’ll be able to pinpoint a person, or a place, or a choice we made that set off changes in the right direction. Indeed, a change can also take place simply because one read a story floating on the internet, or heard a moving song. Which makes us question – is anything really random? Perhaps we were meant to meet every single person who came into our life – from close relationships to fleeting acquaintances. Some are pleasant, some unpleasant. But at some point, there is a sense of “it was meant to be.”

It is a notion that I believe strongly in. Consequently, how much ever “useless” or lonely one may feel, I do think there’s always a circuit waiting to be connected – where you find yourself at the doorstep of someone’s life, and knowingly or unknowingly your presence makes it better for them.  At the core of my stories, this is what I set out to explore…my “inspiration”! 

Someone’s Always Waiting
Sumana Khan

ENCOUNTERS is a potpourri of five sumptuous stories involving a motley crew of protagonists. Skating along the borders of fantasy and paranormal themes, the stories track incredible and poignant journeys of self-discovery, tracing the cathartic aftermath of fleeting encounters.
Grab your Copy @
You can get this book directly from the Publisher


Sumana was born and raised in Bengaluru, Karnataka, where she went on to graduate with a BSc in Electronics, much to the surprise of her teachers, and relief of her parents. In what can only be described as a quirk of fate, she ended up as an IT consultant – a role she essayed for more than a decade. She then moved to the UK where she quit her job and pursued academic and literary interests. The result of this pursuit has been two Masters, one published book, quite a few manuscript drafts, and above all, being stone-broke perpetually.

She currently lives in the UK with her husband and several books.  

Stalk her @


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SPOTLIGHT: RUKHSAT: The Departure by Sujit Banerjee

Where a story stops, another one begins. The thing with them is, they never walk alone. They always walk with a group of friends. Each reaches its own climax. Then with a final gasp of mortality and despair, fade away. No, they never die, they multiply. To the extent that the original gets lost and new ones are born. Over and over again. Yes, they get lost. No, they never die. They live on, permanently etched in the book of time. And from there, we borrow them and bring them alive. Again. And again. Here are twenty six of them, some standing alone and some chatting up with their long lost friends. When they depart, they leave a lingering fragrance of nostalgia and curiosity. What happened then?
Twenty-six alphabets, twenty-six names, and twenty-six short stories. Each exploring one unique emotion, taking you into the dark recess of the mind. Some frothy and most of them dark. Most standing alone and some facing a mirror, where the same story comes alive in two different ways, through two different protagonist . Meet myriad characters – from the single-minded prostitute to the man on the railways station bereft of any memory; a woman desperate for a biological child to a dead man’s trial. Meet a jealous lover with a twisted brain and a gay man’s memory of a one-night encounter. Meet twenty-six such characters arrested and sentenced for life inside the pages of a book. Each one leaving an indelible mark on your soul.
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Meet the Cast 

Abhimanyu – In the Beginning

I felt the poison of anger raging around me, inside me, pulsating like an entity; anger at the one who betrayed and the one who took advantage of this betrayal. The anger of not being able to stop both. Then the flash of knife and the flowing blood, shimmering in the flames of the torches inside the chamber. Screams followed by hushed voices; bodies being dragged down a flight of stairs. The sound of digging and burying. Later, ruins all around as empires fell and one intrigue chased another through time while swords sliced and arrows whiz past, seeking hearts. Who was I and what was all this about? Why were most of the images that flitted through my head always dark and tinged with red? Rarely, very rarely were they warm and loving. So rarely were they, ever like the sun shining on a cold and shivering memory.

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Born to Bengali parents in Lucknow, I grew up in Patna where I finished my post-graduation in Psychology and ended up becoming a tour operator instead of a Psychologist! Which was 
good since a Bengali born in UP and reared in Bihar does not make a great Psychologist! Am I now glad to be in tourism? It has taken me all over the world including places you would have never heard of. Eh? How about Tlacotalpan? It’s in Mexico.
Destiny had other plans as well so I became a reluctant healer. A crazy Shaman in Mexico set the ball rolling and it has rolled all the way to Delhi. Today I both heal as well as read Tarot cards. My wife thinks I am mad. My friends think I am weird. I guess I am both. 
My first story was published in a magazine when I was seventeen. The Editor made such a hash of it that I stopped sending out my stories but I continued writing. Then I broke my heart and started writing poems; first in Hindi and then in English. All personal collection. They still remain personal. I do shudder when I read some of them! Then the short stories came back and written over two years – now is a collection.

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