Rise and Fall of My Beloved by Utanu Maa – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Rise and Fall of My Beloved is a collection of poetry and prose about resilience—about the experience of stigma and rejection, disease and suffering, love and care, loss and grief—and also a testimony of gratitude, forgiveness and togetherness. Each of its three parts is a journey through life’s struggles, pain and loss, all of which require an inner force to overcome, build, rebuild, succeed and heal: resilience. It expresses an undercurrent to an imposed destiny or stigma.

Based on the life experience of my late brother, Rise and Fall of My Beloved is a tribute to mankind’s resilience to overcome adversities. The book takes readers from his vulnerable childhood as a neglected orphan set to die, through a childhood in which he was bullied, to his rise as an accomplished engineer, and sadly to his fall as a dying patient of HIV/AIDS. Each poem depicts the essence of unconditional love and care, the dignity of dying of AIDS, forgiveness, and family bond. This book is a manifesto of my brother’s exceptional resilience, the best memory of him that will live forever. It is an invitation, an inspiration, a reflection that, when mankind encounters struggles, disease, pain, death, loss, grief, we have to grieve and heal, and rebuild.

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt

The Price of Denial
A body’s compromised immune response, a great opportunity

To ward off two deadly opportunistic infections in the case of


Tuberculosis and Cryptococcal Meningitis,” said the doctor.

Zola persisted in denial, but constant and symptomatic coughs,

Colds and fevers, extreme fatigue and skin eruptions, loss of


Had considerably worsened his health and weakened his body.

His body’s immune response was severely compromised.

He collapsed one morning, his entire body shaken up

In uncontrollable convulsions and forceful stretching,

His neck stiff on one side, his eyes bulging and widened,

His mouth spitting out white foam like a volcano.

This was something severe and life-threatening,

Epilepsy or stroke, seemingly, but too uncertain.

Frenzy, panic, worries, cries, screams, and prayers

To an invisible Omnipotent God rose from every witness.

The resilient man looked defeated, near demise.

About the Author:I am Utanu MAA. I live in Toronto and work as a public servant within the Ontario Court of Justice. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, where I studied French Literature and Law before migrating to Canada in 1991, and thereafter studied Fashion Marketing, Paralegal and Law (1year) programs. In 2004, I was a recipient of a prize for the Poetry contest organized by Canada Heritage during the celebration of the Francophonie. “Couleur d’une langue” (The Color of a language), my unpublished poem about the diversity and different accents that give rhythm and power to a language to become an umbrella of one identity. “Rise and Fall of My Beloved” is also my own journey into unconditional love and care, and the resilience to deal with pain, loss, grief, to grieve, heal and continue with life after my brother’s death.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Hello Humanity! Thank you to Long and Short Reviews for having me on this book tour. My gratitude also goes to Goddess Fish Promotions for organizing this tour, and to every reader for your interest to my book and your very supportive comments. I will be stayed connected throughout the day to reply to your comments and question. Please take advantage of the book giveaway to enter the contest. I wish all of you a wonderful day and mostly a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year 2021 to you and your family. Let us stay safe and resilient.

    • Long and Short Reviews says

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your book. It sounds lovely and deeply meaningful.

      • Thank you. This book is a true personal experience of resilience, unconditional love, gratitude and togetherness in hard times, forgiveness despite mistakes, grieving and healing despite loss. It is also an awareness, a testimony and reflection on HIV infection, on living with and suffering, and dying from HIV/AIDS. This book is also a call or an invitation to our society to show compassion, which is the most human sentiment, towards people living with and suffering from HIV/AIDS who face shame, discrimination, isolation and rejection, and bear a lot in silence. People living and suffering from HIV/AIDS deserves to live and die in dignity because, overall, they are HUMAN BEINGS, and dignity is an human right. I know that at this present time we are all keeping safe from Covid-19 but let us also be aware that HIV infection continues to kill.

  3. Victoria Alexander says

    Great post – thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Victoria, thank you for stopping by and being kind with your comment.
      Please take advantage of the book review and enter the contest.
      Have a marvelous day.

  4. Great excerpt

    • Hi Edgar. Thank you for stopping by and for your very supportive comment. I hope that you have seen the book giveaway and have entered the contest. This book is an inspiration of resilience and gratitude despite hard times, a true mankind’s experience and testimony on living with, suffering and dying from HIV/AIDS, an invitation to Human’s dignity and compassion, unconditional love and forgiveness, and togetherness in facing life challenges. Stay safe and resilient. Have a marvelous day.

  5. Hello Humanity,
    Please feel free to ask any question you might have about the book, and I will be delighted to reply. Let cheers that we made it to 2021!!!! CHEERS.

  6. This looks like a very good read.

  7. Hi Sherry. Thank you for stopping by and kindly leaving a comment. I wish you take advantage of the book giveaway and enter the contest. Nice to hearing from you and reading your supportive comment. I am glad that you like the excerpt. I write to tell a true story on a subject that many can related to directly or indirectly because the HIV infection is still disastrous for mankind and we need to be aware and safe. I lost my brother to this disease, and I witnessed the devastation on a human’s life, and how the opportunistic viruses decimate the human body and precipitate it to death. So my writing is to bring awareness from a true personal testimony. I am glad that you like the excerpt and your support my book. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I hope that you took advantage of the giveaway and did enter the contest. Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2021.

  8. The book looks very interesting. I love poetry. Thanks!

  9. Sounds like an interesting read!

  10. Cassandra D says

    The exclusive excerpt is very interesting.

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