My latest novel, published by Pocol Press, debuts next month. The Hand of Ganesh will be available through the publisher, ordering from your favorite bookstore, and on Amazon. It seems that elephant god Ganesh helped me overcome obstacles as I sought to tell this story, one of adoption, travel, and women’s friendship. Turn back the clock: As I was growing up, my father filled my imagination with visions of India. Richard Beard was a veteran of WWII who’d been stationed in Calcutta as a clinical psychologist for the Army Airforce. After he passed away, I compiled his wartime letters into a book titled From Calcutta with Love – The WWII Letters of Richard and Reva Beard. (Texas Tech University Press, 2002). All my life, I’d wanted to write fiction, and with the publication of Beast of Bengal (Pocol Press, 2005), that dream became a reality. Beast of Bengal is a suspenseful tale set in the China-Burma-India theater of WWII. After visiting Southern India in 2013, I had another story to tell. I recruited Clara Jordan, the somewhat autobiographical heroine of All the Wrong Places (Pocol Press, 2017) to join a new character, Arundati Benet, and took both women to Tamil Nadu and Mahabalipuram, an ancient temple complex. My newest novel spans generations and tells of friendship and bonding. It also presents a rich tapestry of India, as seen through American eyes.
Here’s a summary of The Hand of Ganesh:
A young girl, barely alive, washes up on a beach near the Indian ruins of Mahabalipuram. Thus begins a journey of discovery for Richard and Rita Benet accompanied by an artifact of the elephant God Ganesh. Equal parts self-actualization, travelogue, and mystery/adventure story, The Hand of Ganesh dives deep into several American protagonists’ curiosities about India. As the multi-generational story progresses, two young women remain obsessed with finding their birthmothers; one from Santa Fe, New Mexico and the other born in India itself. The pair are compelled to travel to the Subcontinent. Amidst the backdrop of the world’s largest gathering of humanity, the Kumbha Mela, Clara and Arundati embrace their moment and decide together how to process their respective beginnings.
As publication draws nearer, stay tuned for updates. The Hand of Ganesh can be pre-ordered by going to http://www.pocolpress.com.