Sharon Maas's Blog

December 16, 2016

Out Now on Netgalley!

The Lost Daughter of India by Sharon Maas
1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on December 16, 2016 10:26 • 67 views

July 23, 2016

Now Available!

The Sugar Planter's Daughter A beautiful heartbreaking novel of love, loss and hidden tragedy (The Quint Chronicles) by Sharon Maas
 •  2 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on July 23, 2016 02:39 • 47 views

July 1, 2016

The Sugar Planter's Daughter A beautiful heartbreaking novel of love, loss and hidden tragedy (The Quint Chronicles) by Sharon Maas

This is the cover of my next book, to be published on 22nd July. It's the continuation of The Secret Life of Winnie Cox, but works perfectly well as a stand-alone, as the story is complete in itself.
1 like ·   •  2 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on July 01, 2016 10:58 • 78 views

September 8, 2015

The Secret Life of Winnie Cox Slavery, forbidden love and tragedy - spellbinding historical fiction by Sharon Maas

1910, Guyana, South America. A time of racial tension and poverty. A time where forbidden love must remain a secret.

Winnie Cox lives a privileged life of dances and dresses on her father’s sugar cane plantation. Life is sweet in the kingdom of sugar and Winnie along with her sister Johanna, have neither worries nor responsibilities, they are birds of paradise, protected from the poverty in the world around them.

But everything can change in a heartbeat…

When Winnie falls in love with George Quint, the post-office boy, a ‘darkie’ from the other side, she soon finds herself slipping into a double life. And as she withdraws from her family, she discovers a shocking secret about those whom are closest to her. Now, more than ever, Winnie is determined to prove her love for George, whatever price she must pay and however tragic the consequences might be.

A breath-taking love story of two people fighting to be together, in a world determined to break them apart.
2 likes ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon

June 25, 2015

Sons of Gods is now available in Print -- at last!

It's available on Amazon and other retailers, in paperback. I've planned this for so many years -- I can't believe it's happened! And to celebrate, I have a new review, and a great one at that, by Shelley Schanfield a Goodreads member,
There are many retellings of the Mahabharata, India's classic epic. I have read several and would recommend Sons of Gods for anyone not already familiar with this ancient tale.

Taken as a whole, the Mahabharata is unwieldy, to say the least. It is filled with digressions and stories within stories that resist linear narrative. Sharon Maas's version is admirably streamlined for readers who want to get a grounding in the basic story before exploring in more detail the rambling conglomeration of myths, legends, and history that make up this massive tale.

The greatest strength of Sons of Gods lies in its introduction to the complex Kuru-Pandava lineage. Understanding the complicated issues around the succession is key to understanding the tragic war between the two princely lines. Maas lays out the whole convoluted tale, from the grandfather Santanu to the grandsons Dhritarashtra and Pandu. Dhritarashtra, who is born blind, cannot rule. Pandu, the younger one, will inherit.

The princess Kunti serves the great sage Durvasa and because of her piety receives a boon from him. He teaches her a mantra that enables her to summon any god, and though she is warned not to use it lightly, she can't resist trying it. She summons the sun god Surya, and by him she bears a son. Her honor is at stake, however. Not daring to reveal she has borne a child she sets her little son afloat in a basket. Unlike Moses, who is rescued by a royal princess, a charioteer's wife finds Kunti's son. She and her husband, ignorant of his illustrious lineage, raise the child as their own , calling him Karna.

In due course, Kunti marries Pandu. Because of a curse (read the book if you want to know more!) Pandu is unable to father children on his wives Kunti and Madri. To ensure her husband's line, Kunti uses her mantra to summon the gods Dharma, Vayu, and Indra, who father sons on her. She allows Pandu's other wife to use the mantra to summon the Ashvins, twin gods who father Madri's twins. These sons of gods, who by ancient law of levirate become Pandu's heirs (the Pandavas), grow to manhood ignorant of their half-brother Karna just as he is ignorant of his lineage.

Maas's version goes straight and true from the early conflicts between the young Kuru and Pandava princes, who are raised in the same royal household, to the martial contest where an unknown charioteer's son Karna challenges the haughty Pandava prince Arjuna and becomes an ally of the Kurus, through the infamous game of dice to the Pandavas' thirteen year exile to the final war. I read avidly; didn't put it down, even though the ending was no mystery to me. It hits the most important events and illustrates the moral conflicts, but necessarily leaves out a great deal.

Maas's prose is lovely and descriptive. It also reflects the fact that the Mahabharata is a religious text as well as a ripping tale. For me, this sometimes renders the characters two-dimensional. Nevertheless, it's a very good read.
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on June 25, 2015 11:03 • 14 views

June 19, 2015

Yes, at last. Sons of Gods -- the Mahabharata -- is now available in print! For the time being it is only available on Createspace:

In a few days it will go live on Amazon and other retailers--- however, I get a higher royalty through Createspace, so if it's all the same to you, buy it there!

Hope you feel inspired to plunge into the world of gods and goddesses, kings and queens, demons and heavenly beings, as they lived and moved 3000 years ago in India!
2 likes ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on June 19, 2015 06:10 • 26 views

May 4, 2015

Sons of Gods is FREE for just two days, Monday and Tuesday. So grab your copy now!
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on May 04, 2015 10:18 • 81 views

April 20, 2015

I have discovered Grant Morrison's 18 Days, with art by Mukesh Singh, and am blown away by the beauty of it all. This is the Mahabharata for the 20th century!
Here's an interview with Grant Morrison.
And an excerpt, proving just how contemporary the Mahabharata is:

Firstly it’s unbeatable on a level of sheer spectacle alone, involving 10 million combatants with super powers, flying machines, fantastic weaponry and immense battle-formations moving in the form of birds, lightning or flowers. The cast of characters – from the troubled Yudhish and mighty Bheema to tragic Karna and young, doomed Abimanyhu – is incomparable.  The whole idea that the cataclysmic ending of an Age is brought about because Krishna is moved by the smallest of things - the tears on Draupadi’s cheeks – shows us how everything in the universe is intimately connected by the action of karma.
 I like it because it’s less about Good vs. Evil in the traditional Western sense and more about dealing with compromise, anger, greed and fear. The very things which make its heroes great are the things which bring about their greatest defeats. It’s an immensely human story that acknowledges the weaknesses and failures of its heroes as often as it promotes their strengths and victories. Unlike the snarling, cackling irredeemable villains of Western melodrama, even the monstrous Duryodhana is a complex, ultimately sympathetic figure, while a character like Karna is quite simply heart-breaking in his inability to achieve the greatness of which he knows he’s capable.
Karna vx Ghatotkacha
Krishna and Arjuna

Lightning strikes!

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on April 20, 2015 08:40 • 125 views

April 11, 2015

This week I'm offering free digital copies of Sons of Gods, in celebration of the new cover and revised content!
If you'd like a free, no strings attached copy, please send me a message.
Sons of Gods -- Mahabharata by Sharon Maas
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on April 11, 2015 09:37 • 81 views

April 3, 2015

From the video:
"Karna is the character I think our audience will most identify with, the ones the girls will hate to love and love to hate. He's the most tragic and misunderstood member of the cast. The 'Hamlet'. Karna is a handsome, hawkish, brooding man, burdened with guilt. He's the boy most likely to succeed, until it all went wrong."

I would like to add: Karna is also brave, loyal, trustworthy, compassionate, unselfish, and the greatest Giver of all time. He is unforgettable. I wrote this whole book, really, in Karna's honour.

The story of Karna is the main subplot of Sons of Gods, and the video above perfectly captures his story as told in Sons of Gods. The main reason I was so dissatisfied with all the Mahabharatas I read as a young girl in India was that I fell in love with Karna early on, but could not find a single book which did his character justice. He seemed as neglected in literature as his character is in the story; the whole tragedy of his life often buried beneath the exploits of his noble half-brother, Arjuna. 

I wanted Karna to be the lynch-pin of the story. Without him, there would be no Mahabharata. 
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on April 03, 2015 11:13 • 37 views