Image Credit: Mari1Photo
Making the world better, one small act at a time
Once upon a time, a child went to Arambol Beach after a typhoon had passed, leaving the beach littered with debris. Scattered upon the sand lay millions of tiny starfish. As the sun beat down, warming up the sand, the seagulls gorged themselves on the unexpected feast. The child picked up one of the starfish and studied its five equal arms. She touched its tentacles. Yes. It was still alive. She ran to the water and threw it into the waves.
She ran, laughing, from starfish to starfish, picking them up and throwing them back into the ocean. She whirled with joy, careful where she stepped.
"Asharika?" Papa frowned. "What are you doing?"
"I am saving them."
Papa was a tall man, sensible and reliable. He gestured to the beach, the millions of starfish, and the debris left by the storm.
"Look at how many there are?" He shoved his hands into his pockets. "Even if we were to stay here all day, it would not make a difference."
Asharika picked up the next starfish and examined it in the deadly sun. Every minute, the tide receded, leaving the starfish further and further from the water. She touched its tentacles. The starfish curled one of its tiny arms around her finger.
"It makes a difference to this one."
She threw it into the water.
"Help me, Papa! Let's see how many we can save?"
People often ask me 'where do you get your stories?' Like Ashakira, I am drawn to people and creatures who, through no fault of their own, have suffered a misfortune. Many of my characters are orphans or abused, reared in environments which were toxic and difficult to escape.
Image credit: phb.cz
Sometimes it's a person who helps them, other times its divine intervention. At some point, however, the tide always comes back in. The starfish must learn how to swim and not get cast back up onto the rocks a second time.
When you are an artist, it doesn't matter if you are a writer, a blogger, a visual artist, or a painter, or perhaps just a socially conscious person who speaks to others, you have the power to pick up those unfortunate starfish and draw attention to their fate. You have the ability to inspire others to help them find their way back into the water.
It was like that when I wrote my book 'The Auction.' When an Australian friend rescued a horse destined for a slaughterhouse, she brought my attention to the plight of horses. Oh! How terribly we treat them. The people who benefit most from equine labor think nothing of thanking their loyal friend by sending them to the knacker! I wanted to do something to raise awareness of their plight. But what could -I- do? A single person against a multi-billion rupee global horsemeat industry that slaughters 500,000 horses each year?
Image Credit: php.cz
I like to write stories, but nobody wants to read a book about horse slaughter! Ick! So I asked myself, 'What if this was a person who was cast off and didn't have a home?' Hence Rosamond Xalbadora was born (her name means horse rescuer), a homeless half-gypsy / half-Australian girl who takes a job as a governess in the Australian outback after her fiancé dumps her at the altar. Thanks to some helpful neighbors, two ghost riders who visit her each night in her dreams, and a wee bit of Australian Aboriginal myth, Rosie ends up rescuing, not just a small white pony named Luna, but also a traumatized little girl who's been caught in the middle of her parent's bitter divorce.
Will Rosie, Pippa, and Luna-the-pony have a happy ending? Or will all three of them get left on the sand to slowly wither and die?
I hope other people will raise their voices and speak up for animal welfare. Therefore, if you ride the Rafflecopter in the Giveaway and sign up for my monthly email NEWSLETTER, every person who confirms their subscription will receive a *FREE* electronic edition of 'The Auction' in the format of their choice (.epub, Kindle-.mobi or .pdf).
I will also, when this promotion ends, select one (1) winner to receive a paperback edition of the book.
Please join me to pick up a starfish and throw it back.
Note: All images licensed to Anna Erishkigal from DepositPhotos
About the Auction
Dumped at the altar and left without a home, Rosie Xalbadora takes a job as a governess at the edge of the Australian outback. There she meets Pippa Bristow, a sensitive child who copes with her parent's bitter divorce by escaping into a magical world of fairy queens and unicorns. Pippa's enigmatic father, Adam Bristow, is willing to endure whatever he must to keep his daughter safe from his oil heiress ex-wife.
Struggling to shield Pippa from her mother's games, Rosie must face the ghosts of her own painful past while fighting a growing attraction to her handsome, emotionally unavailable employer. But help comes in the form of a helpful town and two ghost-riders who visit Rosie each night in her dreams. When Rosie and Pippa save a small, white pony from slaughter, their ill-timed compassion puts Adam's custody dispute, Pippa's fantasies, and Rosie's worst fears all up for bid in an epic showdown.
The Auction is a sweet, contemporary romance styled with the heart-wrenching, Gothic undertones of Jane Eyre and just a hint of the supernatural.
If you would like to support my writing, you can purchase The Auction for only 49 rupees at Amazon India and GooglePlay India, $3.99 USD everywhere else (Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords, Amazon USA, Overdrive and e-Sentral), or 1395 rupees for the paperback edition at Amazon India or Book Depositry.