© 2015 by Ashley Mayers
 

INTRODUCTION

 

A captivating fantasy saga with strong science fiction and romance elements that develop later in the series, THE SITA CHRONICLES features interwoven stories across generations, cultures, and continents. The series pays homage to its roots in the beloved Indian epic, the Ramayana, with an enchantingly vivid and unabashedly global tale. As key figures from the ancient Hindu pantheon join modern counterparts in present-day San Francisco, the UK, Sri Lanka, and India, several women's narratives come together into a 21st century 'Coming of Age' epic punctuated by mesmerizing imagery, complex philosophical dilemmas, exciting scientific mysteries, and tender human stories.

 

Ultimately, the series explores the question: What does it take for a young woman to transcend all that is holding her back, to become the person she wants to be in this modern world? Through the stories of seven exceptional women – Supriya, Sabrina, Shanti, Neha, Rupa, Shaheen, and Mélusine – THE SITA CHRONICLES brings the reader along for a suspenseful, endearing, emotional journey as they discover the answers for themselves.
 

BOOK ONE - RED SAPPHIRE

 

The young, timid dreamer, Supriya Rutherford Ramachandran, always wondered what happened to her father and her grandmother when they disappeared without a trace just weeks before she was born. But, when she discovers a hidden box of letters in the attic of her family's San Francisco Victorian, she quickly realizes that perhaps, she rather would not know. As Supriya uncovers a dark family secret, a surprising supernatural identity, and a frightening cache of uncontrollable power destined for her, a diverse and otherworldly ensemble must help her overcome incredible odds to master the burden of her new self-awareness while the fate of all humankind rests precariously in her young hands.

 

The first book of seven, RED SAPPHIRE not only serves as a satisfying stand-alone 'Coming of Age' fantasy novel, it sets an epic stage and spins an elaborate web of mysteries that will unfold with tantalizing suspense and satisfying resolution across the following six books.

 

“Once the foundation was built, I thought I was on a ‘skyscraper’ metaphorically speaking. This book is outstanding.” Janet Arroyo, GoodReads

 

READ more praise for THE SITA CHRONICLES

 

BOOK TWO - VIOLET SAPPHIRE 

 

"My name is Shanti Rutherford Patel Vishravan, and I am a keeper of secrets..."

 

Too many secrets have been kept by Supriya's mysteriously cold mother over the years. Now, as the clock is ticking imminently closer towards an epic confrontation, Supriya is forced to admit that still, she doesn't know anywhere close to enough about her family's dark past. But, as the game of cat and mouse with the monstrous villain moves forward into the next round, and a new dangerous adversary begins a deadly hunt, will the consequences of Shanti's hard choices leave Supriya too vulnerable while she struggles to harness her newfound power? 

 

As Supriya's surprisingly mundane freshman year in college descends into apocalyptic chaos, her mother's shocking confessional of love, loss and lies serves as a riveting prequel that will change absolutely everything.

 

"Violet Sapphire is an amazing follow up to Red Sapphire and in my opinion I found the second book even better. The story is exciting, packed full of mysteries and looming danger, all created through great writing. I found the characters more intriguing in this book as more aspects of their backgrounds are uncovered but you're still left with lingering questions about parts of their stories and destined paths... This is an amazing follow up to a fantastic first book and I'd recommend for everyone to at least try to start this series." Reading Corner, GoodReads

 

ABOUT THE SERIES

 

THE SITA CHRONICLES is a multi-generational modern fantasy epic that relishes the pleasures of telling a complex saga over the course of many books, just as its inspiration, the Ramayana, has done for millennia. While each book is self-contained, the entire series (one million words) was written at once, allowing an unprecedented amount of interplay between each of the books. Mysteries spun in the first few pages are revisited time and again with new revelations, as the canvas becomes fuller and fuller, leading to increasingly epic climaxes that build upon one another until the very end. 

 

This series does not adhere to many of the paradigms of traditional fantasy literature, with the development of the characters serving as the primary driver of the action, rather than the action dictating the character development. These characters sprung to life fully formed in the author's head, and wrote their own story. Due to the timescale over which the epic unfolds, the characters have the privilege of growing and changing across decades, allowing them to truly demonstrate who they are, and allowing the reader to fall thoroughly in love with them (or to hate them with a vengeance) – to care about them is if they were real.

 

"...The characters were very real and relatable - characters you care about and can't wait to find out what will happen next." Sherri Smith, GoodReads

 

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Pigeonholing Genres

 

Categorizing books into specific genres has long been a requirement in the publishing world. Where to place the book most appropriately in the bookstore, to whom and how to market a work, and many other questions require it. However, many of the best, most beloved works in recent decades have defied the specific pigeonholing that has long been a pragmatic concession of the industry. As many of the adults who obsessed over the series can attest, even the Harry Potter series does not cleanly fit within one traditional genre (Are those last books in the series really YA? It is in a modern setting, with magical chase scenes in the streets of London, so is it Urban Fantasy? But with the use of traditional fantasy elements like wizards and elves with a story told across many books, could it not be considered Epic Fantasy?).

 

Despite the marketing conundrum that writing a series that cannot easily be pigeonholed creates, the author was not willing to sacrifice the story or the characters to fit cleanly into one single marketable box. And so, with the many overlapping genres of today's publishing world and the series's multi-layered themes and settings, while THE SITA CHRONICLES is a fantasy epic, it can also be considered: Coming of Age Fiction, Mythic Fiction, Literary Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Indian Fiction, and Women's Fiction, with elements of Science Fiction, Action/Adventure, Paranormal Romance, and many others popping up throughout the epic. Readers who do not consider themselves fans of traditional fantasy have overwhelmingly voiced their surprise at their love for THE SITA CHRONICLES due to its focus on highly engaging characters who face struggles that, in the end, are quintessentially human.

 

Feedback from Young Adult/New Adult readers has been very positive, however, THE SITA CHRONICLES was not written strictly as a "Young Adult" series. The advanced prose and length, along with some references to sex and violence deemed to *not* be overly graphic by the YA review committees who reviewed the books, reflect this distinction. The series has been approved by the San Francisco Public School libraries and is currently enjoying popularity with the middle school crowd. It can be found in the San Francisco and Sacramento Public libraries categorized as "teen" fiction.

 

When approaching the novels, the author sought to transcend the restrictive genre labels that were necessary for traditional publishing, to tell an inspiring human story that will resonate with readers of all ages long after the final pages.