Novel Ties Personal, Spiritual Journey to Tibetan Crisis

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'The Dharma King' makes for thoughtful summer read.

The inescapable tragedy of the current Tibetan situation drew me to the struggles of the Panchen Lama

Come August, the world's eyes will be on China as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad take place in Beijing. For those who want to complement daily media accounts of swim times, medal ceremonies and gymnastics scores with a late-summer read, "The Dharma King" will hit the shelves just in time.

Described as a thrilling novel of one man's quest to save Tibet - and himself - "The Dharma King" is an epic chase to find and bring the baby Panchen Lama, the spiritual counterpart to the Dalai Lama, to safety.

The timely story guides the reader to examine the competing interests of capitalism and spirituality, China's emergence onto the world stage, Tibet's future and the personal struggle to find meaning in a changed world, says B.G. Stroh, while raising individuals' spiritual awareness.

"The inescapable tragedy of the current Tibetan situation drew me to the struggles of the Panchen Lama," explains Stroh, who has traveled throughout Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal, and studied Tibetan Buddhism. "The novel ties together one man's personal quest with responsibility for something greater in the world in a fascinating story."

The story traces the physical and spiritual journal of a young American man, the eldest son of a wealthy San Francisco family. With a guaranteed life of privilege and power ahead of him, he books a flight to Kathmandu on a whim after college graduation - a flight with events that will change him forever.

Samuel Falk Simms, Jr., races against time, a vicious Chinese colonel and his own demons to save what may be the last hope of a religion and culture in peril. Searching Buddhist temples and foreign cities, and crossing the Himalayan plains, he is guided by a fleeting glimpse of an obscure map, a new love and the long-buried truth within him.

On his journey to find the Panchen Lama, says Stroh, Sam comes to terms with a deeper level of meaning in his own life. "I hope that each reader can be his or her own 'Dharma King' and follow his or her own path by being mindful and aware…because until we take personal responsibility for the world that we live in, and until we each follow our own hearts, nothing will change."

"The Dharma King" is published by iUniverse, Inc., and is available at Barnes & Noble bookstores, at Amazon.com, through iUniverse, Inc. or at DharmaKing.com ($14.95 U.S./paperback, $23.95 U.S./hardcover), where readers can access the full first chapter of the book. The book is a designated iUniverse Publisher's Choice selection.

A portion of the proceeds from the novel will be donated to the re-established Sera Jhe Monastery in southern India.

For a review copy of "The Dharma King," contact Aimee Bennett.

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B.G. Stroh

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Aimee Bennett

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