Books

Edge of Light

Coming in 2020

On October 23, 2030, a meteor bursts high over Los Angeles–one of many that rain down over Earth that night. For 17-year-old Dev Harrison, the awesome event coincides with two major events in his life: The first is a recurring dream about his astrophysicist-father Dr. Gavin Harrison, who disappeared ten years earlier in a mysterious lab explosion. In the dream, Gavin reveals to Dev a location, high on a Tahoe peak above their family cabin, where he’s hidden a box. The top of the box bears the message: “Find Bollinger.” Second, Dev suspects he’s being watched.

So begins a dangerous journey for Dev and his two best friends, Abby Mendes and Conner Stone, as they travel the back roads of an unraveling California heading for Tahoe to see if there’s any truth to Dev’s dreams. Close on their heels is the sinister federal agent Franklin Dix, assigned to capture the kids and bring them in, along with the contents of the mysterious box.

The deeper they travel, the weirder things get as they cross paths with violent rioters, mysterious drones, separatist fanatics, and, deadliest of all, bands of ravenous humanoid creatures–humans, really, infected by a parasite released by the meteors. It dawns on them gradually that Dev’s father, together with his ex-colleague Bollinger, could be the last protectors of a universe-shattering discovery–one that defies the bounds of spacetime and portends the end of humanity itself. The further they journey, the more Dev, Abby, and Conner have to rely on each other–for guidance, support, to stay alive . . . and, possibly, to save the world.

“Edge of Light” is my foray into the kind of sci-fi and horror I love–the kind with intimate, everyday characters on a grand, all-important quest that pushes beyond the edge of the possible while staying grounded in a world we recognize, albeit one darkened by civilization’s worst impulses (war, exploitation, and environmental destruction). The telling of this story has been satisfying and great fun–and I hope to share it with readers before the end of the year.


The Leaving of Things

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Vikram is not your model Indian-American teenager. Growing up in late ’80s Wisconsin, he is rebellious, adrift, and resentful of his Indian roots. But a disastrously drunken weekend becomes a one-way ticket back to the homeland for Vikram after his outraged parents decide to pack up the family and return to India.

So begins a profound journey of culture shock, loneliness, and self-discovery as Vikram—navigating the chaos of daily Indian life and the antiquated social rules of his college—finds the confidence to explore his own creativity, reconnect with his family, and meet unforgettable new friends. Most of all, he discovers that India is his soul … but America is his heart, the land of his destiny, leading to a once-in-a-lifetime test of courage as he sets out to chart a bold new course for his future.

Winner of the 2014 Kindle Book Award and the International Book Award (in the “Multicultural Fiction” Category), The Leaving of Things is a coming-of-age saga about one teenager’s culture shock, topsy-turvy sense of identity and destiny in a globe-spanning, heart-on-its-sleeve narrative connecting the Midwest of America and Ahmedabad, a dusty and colorful city in western India in the late 1980s.

Self-published in 2013, the novel’s success prompted Lake Union Publishing (an imprint of Amazon Publishing) to acquire and republish the book in November, 2014, under its own banner. The book has since gone on to become an Amazon best-seller, a favorite of many readers and even of teachers who’ve used the book in high-school and college classrooms in discussing the many facets of multiculturalism in America.

Available in Paperback, Audiobook or E-Book at Amazon.com.

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Praise for “The Leaving of Things”

“India comes alive, even for the uninitiated. The daily life, smells, culture of food, and personal relationships flourish while the reader follows a coming of age story … The richness of this story is in the details of Indian life, the nuances of the culture, the reality of how much easier life is in America. [The Leaving of Things] tells a well-worn story of growing up, rendered beautifully, in a seductive setting.”

 Publishers Weekly

“I read [the book] over what turned out to be a very enjoyable weekend. The story was rich and deep enough to lose myself in, and its teenaged hero spoke with an authentic, intimate voice that immediately drew me in and kept me hooked until the end.”

Lindsey Lee Johnson, Author of The Most Dangerous Place on Earth 

“Consistently mesmerizing! It overflows with a joie de vivre that holds the attention of the reader to the last page. The Leaving of Things is a major success for a debut novel.”

Grady Harp, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer