Publish with us

Follow Penguin

Follow Penguinsters

Follow Hind Pocket Books

Karma Meets A Zombie

Karma Tandin is a Monster Hunter.

All his life, Karma has defended his village from monsters and creatures and forces of Darkness. He’s not the bravest or the smartest kid, but he always tries to do what’s right. When one of his classmates shows up to school as a Zombie, Karma knows that he must stop him. After all, no one else can. But is this Zombie really bad? Is he dangerous, or is he just under the thrall of some horrible spell? Karma and his friends must work together to solve this mystery, discover the magical secrets of their town, and hope they find the answers before they too become victims of the undead.


Read below an excerpt from the book:


Life is totally  normal now


Last month, I defeated a shark monster. The week after, I was attacked by possessed trees. The week after that, I may have gotten into a very short, very embarrassing fist-fight with a vampire potato (don’t ask).

I’m a twelve-year-old monster hunter. It sounds cool, but it’s a lot of work.

See, my whole life has been a never-ending series of monster attacks. I live in a tiny valley in Bhutan, so I really shouldn’t have a monster problem. I should just hang out, practise some archery with my friends, and maybe do some chores. You know, normal stuff.

Instead, I’m constantly looking for horrible creatures. For some reason, I’m like a monster magnet. They find me. I fight them. I usually win, but sometimes I get hurt. Well, usually I get hurt. My arm is still sore from that potato attack (again, don’t ask).

It’s not the perfect situation. My mom is always freaking out, and my grades aren’t great. But I kind of like it, too. I like saving people. If I’m the only person who can protect my classmates from vegetables with teeth, then why not? It’s my duty.

I just wish that I could have a more normal life, sometimes. I wish I could have a monster-free holiday somewhere nice and boring. Like the dentist’s office. Last month, I’d stopped a shark monster from eating my classmates. She was the school librarian. She even wore a fake human head on top of her shark head. I’d scared her off thanks to my bravery (and dumb luck), but not before she (I think) ate one of my classmates.

His name was Tenzin, and he was the school bully. I didn’t like him too much, but that didn’t mean he deserved to get eaten. It was awful. Now, things were finally getting back to normal. I felt good. Spring was coming fast, the weather was warming up, and I hadn’t seen any monsters in days. Everything felt nice and safe and dentist-office boring.

As always, I walked to school with my best friend Chimmi. Our school was on the side of a mountain, so we took the shortcut—the hidden trail along the edge of a stream. It had some nice views of Jakar Town below.

Of course, neither of us was enjoying the view. Chimmi was staring at me again, trying to figure out what I was thinking about. And I was squeezing my face really tight, trying to hide the fact that I was thinking about Dawa again.

‘You’re thinking about Dawa again,’ he said.

I guess I didn’t squeeze my face tight enough.

‘No,’ I lied. ‘I was thinking about . . . mummies.’ Out of all the monsters I’ve had to fight, I’d never encountered any mummies.

Give it time, though.

‘How is she?’ he asked.

‘Dawa? What do you mean? Is she okay? I haven’t seen her?’ I said in one breath. For a moment, I was worried that she’d been captured by a troll and no one had bothered to tell me.

‘Um, I’m just asking,’ Chimmi said.

‘Oh. Yeah. She’s good.’

Dawa was my other best friend. She was the coolest kid in school, and I really, really liked her. She didn’t like it when I fought monsters, because she didn’t want to see me get hurt. During times like these—normal, boring times—she was always really happy.

I thought about Dawa a lot. Chimmi elbowed me in the side. ‘Stop thinking about her,’ he said. ‘I’m not!’ I said. ‘You’re dumb,’ he said. This was a typical Chimmi/ Karma conversation. I couldn’t help but smile, not because my friend called me dumb (I’m not), but because I wasn’t worried about anything. After all the craziness of the last month, I wasn’t thinking about shark monsters or vampires or any of that. I was thinking about school, and friends, and maybe-kinda-sorta having a crush.

It was all so normal. And I needed that. I needed normal. Of course, that happy-normal feeling lasted for about ten seconds before I saw a green-skinned zombie limping toward us.

Well, crap.


Get your copy of Karma Meets A Zombie here

Vikrant Khanna on the Real Life Inspiration Behind his Characters, Writing and More!

Vikrant Khanna is a ship captain and a bestselling author. His latest book The Girl Who Disappeared, is a thriller that follows the disappearance of Nisha. Will the mystery around her disappearance be solved?

You’ll have to read the book to find out but if you want to know more about his creative process read the interview below:

What inspired you to write the book?

As is always with my stories, I don’t think a lot for ideas; they mostly come to me when I’m not expecting them. This one first came to me when I was transiting the Pacific Ocean on a ship two years back. Also, I don’t try too hard to crystallise an idea and let it take its own shape. All I knew was that there has been a very mysterious disappearance of a girl from the hills of Himachal Pradesh, and I must write this story.

Were the characters inspired by people around you?

Most of the characters are people around me. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by an eclectic bunch of people, both in my personal and professional life. I like to observe people closely and pick up their interesting traits, and more often that not, the craziest ones will find a place in my book.

One insider question: Was the climax of the story the same as what you had originally planned or did it change altogether?

Absolutely not. I didn’t know the story will end the way it did. I never do. Sometimes I get as surprised as my readers with the ending. It’s the characters that run the show.

What could be an alternate title for your book?

I had initially planned to title it “Missing” but changed it as there was a Bollywood movie of the same name.

Five reasons to read this book?

I’d say reasons to read the book are:

  • The ending (that I hope you would not be able to guess)
  • Interesting central characters
  • The supernatural elements interwoven with the mystery
What are you working on next?

There’s no rush. I’ll wait for an idea that strikes the right chord and gets me enthusiastic enough to spend a few months with it.

Interested in Vikrant Khanna’s newest book? The Girl Who Disappeared is available now.

Reasons to Add ‘Timeless Tales from Marwar’ to your Reading List!

Rajasthan’s history is brimming with stories and folklore that span centuries. These are tales that bind Rajasthani folk culture and its history and are passed down generation to generation.

At the forefront of Rajasthani storytelling is Vijaydan Dehta who has also been called the ‘Shakespeare of Rajasthan’. In Timeless Tales from Marwar, Vishes Kothari translates his works from Rajasthani and offers some of the oldest and most popular fables from the Thar Desert region.

Not convinced? Here are reasons you and your child should add this book to your TBR:

Introduce Indian folklore to your child

Timeless Tales from Marwar compiles some of the most popular folklore and stories from the much- celebrated Batan ri Phulwari- ‘Garden of Tales’- a fourteen-volume collection written over a span of nearly fifty years!

The book has a magical narrative style

‘The tale of a tale.
The mischief of mischief.
There were three villages.
Two abandoned, and one,never settled only.
In which lived three potters.
Two fools, and one knew not about making pots only.’

These stories will warm your heart

Detha wrote ‘Because I was so completely unsuccessful with love, I became very talented at writing love stories.’ His stories, like ‘The Leaf and the Pebble’ explore the connections of friendship and love that is familiar to everyone. These stories will leave you feeling hopeful and are sure to warm your heart!

  Gain invaluable life lessons

Vijaydan Detha’s stories bind together human relationships, Indian wildlife, ghosts and the universe at large in an attempt to harness valuable life lessons.

Disguised within interesting and adventurous writings about the stars in ‘Aahedi, the Hunter’ or snakes in ‘Naagan, May Your Line Prosper’, there are lessons and advice about life which any reader can benefit from!

Read well written stories,explore heartwarming and adventurous tales and learn a few life lessons with the Timeless Tales from Marwar!