Today’s Featured Kindle Book:
Author: Shelley Schanfield
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
A talking tigress.
A wandering yogi.
A young woman’s harrowing journey through an ancient land where chaos threatens gods and mortals alike.
A tigress speaks to the outcaste girl Mala, and as she flees in terror, she stumbles upon an irascible old yogi. Though she is an Untouchable and her very shadow may pollute the holy man, she offers him hospitality, and he accepts, repaying her kindness with stories that awaken her hunger for forbidden spiritual knowledge. Soon after he leaves, she is brutally orphaned and enslaved, but the Devi, the Mother Goddess, appears as the warrior goddess Durga and offers her hope. As time passes, Mala, with the Devi’s help, gains the courage and strength to fight for her freedom.
Thus begins her quest for liberation, on which she meets gods and goddesses, high-born Brahmins and lowly keepers of the cremation grounds, outlaws and kings, and young Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who is prophesied to become the Buddha. She finds happiness for a brief moment, but when she again loses everything, she becomes an outlaw warrior who worships the dark goddess, Kali. She descends into madness and misuses the supernatural powers the goddess bestows, and when she again encounters the old yogi, she must decide whether to continue on the path of bloody vengeance or seek transcendence through the power of yoga.
The Tigress and the Yogi is a historical fantasy that brings to life the vivid mythical world of ancient India and transports the reader to the Buddha’s time in a story filled with love and fear, anger and desire. This visionary novel creates a memorable portrait of a powerful woman, her extraordinary daughter, women, and the men they challenge and inspire. It examines the yearning for spiritual transformation and inner peace, and the ways in which the pursuit of wisdom and compassion can go terribly wrong.
Winner: 2016 Visionary Fiction IPPY Award.
About the Author:
Shelley Schanfield’s fascination with Buddhism and yoga arose fifteen years ago when she and her son were pursuing black belts in Tae Kwon Do in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Tae Kwon Do, like all the Eastern martial arts, includes techniques developed by Buddhist monks to calm and focus the mind. These techniques proved invaluable when devastating illnesses struck Shelley’s family. She set out to learn as much as she could about the Buddha’s methods and how he developed them. By profession a librarian, Shelley immersed herself in research on the time, place, and spiritual traditions that 2500 years ago produced Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Yoga, in some form, has a role in all of these traditions. While studying yoga’s history, Shelley was inspired to hang up her black belt to practice Iyengar yoga. Both disciplines have enriched her life and the fictional world of her books.
Because she loves historical fiction, Shelley looked for a good novel about the Buddha. Unsatisfied with what she found, she decided to write her own. Her research had sparked her curiosity about Yasodhara, the woman who became Siddhartha’s wife. On the night their first child was born, he left her and his newborn son to seek enlightenment. How did she feel about this? From a woman’s perspective, Yasodhara’s story was more compelling than her husband’s. Thus began the Sadhana trilogy, three visionary novels blending history and fantasy to illustrate the personal and spiritual struggles of women who knew Siddhartha.
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