In an unprecedented move, the six remaining books in THE SITA CHRONICLES (~3700 pages, >1 million words) were released in 2016.
Grass Roof Publishing published the entire series with unprecedented speed for two reasons:
1) The series is relevant now. Traditional multi-year publishing schedules have made the publication of novels that address current events virtually impossible, but with modern technology-driven publishing options, such restrictions are no longer required.
2) Ashley Mayers finished writing all seven books of the series, and therefore, with hundreds of rounds of editing already complete, it was time to make them available!
THE SITA CHRONICLES are not the end of Ashley Mayers's work in her new universe, they are just the beginning. With a five book prequel taking place in the Art Deco 1920s, focusing on Lord Kalki and his human wife almost a century before his ascension, and a trilogy profiling the excellently complex villain from the series, Surpanakha, already underway, it is Ashley's philosophy to publish works in the now, before they are outdated. Thanks to the 21st century technology of small publishers, this previously impossible option can revolutionize the relevancy of novels to the modern reader, in the same way that Netflix has revolutionized viewing opportunities for visual content series.
Grass Roof Publishing uses three independent printing fulfillment services to accommodate the different needs of THE SITA CHRONICLES's loyal readers:
1) INGRAM: Publication directly through Ingram's international catalogue enables the highest possible trade discounts for retailers and allows easy ordering by global book stores and libraries.
2) LULU: Publication directly through Lulu.com allows direct e-commerce and the fastest and lowest-priced international shipping rates, along with the highest standards of print quality.
3) AMAZON: Publication directly through Amazon allows discoverability through Amazon's store and universal accessibility of the eBook to all devices that can use the free Kindle app, including all tablets (including Android and iPads), desktop computers, and smartphones.
To ensure the highest quality of work, Grass Roof Publishing has worked with numerous professional editors and proofreaders, diverse native experts in Hindu, Indo-Islamic and Indian culture, as well as professional book designers.
Ashley Mayers was offered a contract by an established UK-based independent publisher, but after much research and contemplation, she made the decision to create her own independent publishing entity. She hopes to use the experience to enable a stronger direct relationship with her readers.
The current institutional publishing world offers minimal artistic control for the author, multi-year publication timelines for completed works, and only 5%-15% royalties on profits from book sales. While established publishers can offer useful resources, authors are still required to put significant efforts and budgets into the marketing of their works.
Because Ashley has a strong background in digital marketing and social media, she decided to put 100% of her efforts into making THE SITA CHRONICLES a worthy and beloved literary series for readers across the world, and into making it accessible to readers with the timelines and creative flexibility that only exists by using the most modern, internet-based tools in today's publishing environment.
The bold plan to publish six full-length novels in only six months in 2016 was a direct result of this choice, allowing THE SITA CHRONICLES to fulfill the "binging" palate recently developed by audiences who have become used to devouring complex, multi-volume stories in a matter of days, weeks or months rather than years. The quick timeline also allowed the series to deal with concepts that were immediately relevant to the world in 2016, with a level of depth and accuracy that would not be possible with a multi-year publication timeline.
While it was a difficult decision to turn down the coveted and very uncommon contract for a first time author, Ashley Mayers believes that she made the right choice for the future of THE SITA CHRONICLES and for her readers.
AUTHOR'S NOTE 2017
Readers who begin the series now will find a number of eerie similarities to the real world, in particular to the current dire state of American politics and the apocalyptic nature of various natural disasters (such as the 2017 hurricanes and earthquakes). It is important to note that this series was published before these global challenges reached their current catastrophic forms. RED SAPPHIRE - Book One was published in July 2015, over one year before the November 2016 American presidential election. Book Seven - BLACK SAPPHIRE, the last of the series to be published, was published in October 2016.
The words of the prologue of the seventh book ring truer today than ever, and it is the author's sincerest hope that the allegory of her apocalyptic epic can inspire readers to find ways to contribute to the cause of peace in the real world around them:
Despite everything, we are not so different from each other, you and I.
We have all been brought into this world through the miracle described by religion and science differently, but which results nonetheless in the creation of a thinking and feeling being who takes her place in the grand order. We wake up every morning and embark on the next leg of a never-ending journey to make our lives meaningful. This, in turn, brings an inkling of beauty to a dark, chaotic battle between peace and destruction that has existed every moment of every day since the dawn of time. Sometimes that battle is so obvious and explicit, the consequences of utter annihilation so clear, that our contribution can be seen and acknowledged openly. It is in these times of open chaos that the cause of peaceful dharmic life hangs cannily on the edge of permanent destruction, wiggling like a loose tooth on the edge of a nerve, just waiting for one more flap of the tongue to pop it out in a pool of blood.
In such times, every person is forced to face the choice of what kind of world they want to live in. These moments of truth define us and give brief respite to the long-suffering silent heroes, as they are no longer forced to do their good in the subtle and mundane actions of daily human drudgery, but instead are momentarily allowed to burst forth like a light on the world, bringing their cause of a better life to a grateful and desperate populace, who at their darkest hour, are willing to admit that what they really want more than anything is a safe and happy life filled with love.
But, as it has happened far too often in the history of the worlds, the descent to the darkest hour is a savagely painful one. It teeters precariously between hope and despair, seething lies and burgeoning truths, divine challenges and mundane solutions. It draws out the brutality of unnecessary suffering for far too long.
And yet, the journey is a necessary one, for the species of Earth have always been martyrs for experiential knowledge. Just as the scientific realities of natural selection through the constant, inevitable cycle of birth and death govern all evolution in our natural world, so too do they govern the evolution of our struggling civilizations. For, when it comes right down to it, reason, justice, liberty, and logic––the values that humans have come so heavily to rely upon for sophisticated society to function––have very little to do with the basest realities of life on Earth.
But, all is not lost.
Whatever the detailed facts are of the matter at hand, the great truth that eclipses all others is that the people of Earth have in their possession the great boon of advanced moral reason. For the ability to love, and feel, and think, and transcend beyond the primal instincts of the savage dark voices within all of us is our saving grace. It allows the people of Earth, for the first and only time since life on the planet began, to control utterly and completely the future of our species.
And so, without any more time to debate, we must now make the ultimate decision: Will we choose to transcend our savagery, or will we allow ourselves to perish.
As I write this, and reflect upon the great final task at hand, I must acknowledge that it is the divine role of our reluctantly anointed pantheon to inspire within our charges the capacity and the will to make the right choice. The choice that will save the worlds. The choice that will restore the balance. The choice that will drag the people of Earth kicking and screaming from prayer and paralysis into action.
It is up to us now, all of us, to make sure that the great boon of free will does not become a curse. The gods are here to help, and as the clock ticks down to the reckoning of all reckonings, may the many species of Earth take it upon themselves to do what they must to save themselves.
The time has come for our epic to end. And now we must do what we can to make sure that it is not, in the end, an epic tragedy.
May light triumph over darkness when it matters most.