Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Snippets - Excerpt of ASHES FOR THE ELEPHANT GOD

by Vijaya Schartz

To scatter her brother's ashes over the Narmada River, Fabienne leaves France for the mysterious India of her childhood dreams. As she awakens to a newfound spirituality, unexpected visions of a former life during the Raj stir ancient yearnings for a long lost passion. Mukunda, the palace architect Fabienne loved a century and a half ago, lives again as an American engineer and works on the local dam project. As Fabienne falls in love again with India and the man of her destiny, the tapestry of her previous life unfolds. But, in the karmic land of the blue gods, a ruthless foe lies in wait. The Kali worshiper, who murdered the two lovers in a faraway past, has come back through the centuries to thwart their dream once more.

"... passionate... love, lust, faith and deception... a magnificent offering to the world of fiction..." Charlotte Austin Review - 5 stars

", sensual... multilayered... a thriller... magical, mystical book..." - Writer's Digest

"... a broad-stroked, magnificent picture of a lavish India of the past and the present... a vivid tale of suspense... a gripping account of a woman coming to terms with heightened awareness... a destiny that yields true fulfillment." The Book Reader

"... entertaining, fast-paces yet deeply spiritual... Here is a superior metaphysical novel!" Richard Fuller - Metaphysical Reviews

"I was hooked... major talent... the type of villain everyone loves to hate... An extremely satisfying read!" Huntress Book Reviews

"...Vijaya Schartz brings the sights and smells of India alive..." Carrie Miner, The Glendale Star


A guest sat next to Baba on the elevated patio of the Ashram's courtyard, a rare honor reserved only to Living Saints, international good Samaritans, show-business celebrities, movie stars, Maharajahs, and high-ranking government officials.

The young man looked American, German or Nordic, tall, blond, blue eyed. In a tan safari shirt and western slacks, he sat cross-legged and talked with natural ease, smiling and laughing at Baba's stories. I took my place in the second row, on the tile of the courtyard below, behind the Bhramacharyas in yellow robes. Amazed, I realized then that the striking man spoke Hindi.

After a look at the clock, Baba interrupted his chat, cleared his throat, switched on the microphone, then tapped it and laughed at the sound, marveling as he always did at the wonders of modern electronics.

"Sadgurunath, Maharaj Ki Jay!" The devotees intoned in respectful greeting.

"I am delighted to introduce our guest." Baba smiled and turned toward the blond man. "His name is Mukunda, and he's looking for a bride."

Startled by the name, I stared while the ashramites laughed. The young man blushed fiercely, obviously taken aback by this unexpected introduction. He looked at the ground, gave an embarrassed laugh, then raised his head and faced the crowd for the first time.

I caught my breath, lost in his clear blue eyes. My heart stopped. Mukunda's frank stare riveted me to the ground. Overwhelming sensations flooded my senses. As he brushed long fingers through his hair, probably to hide remnants of embarrassment, I recognized the familiar gesture from a vision. Then Mukunda smiled, and the world around me reeled.

I grinned back. From a warm jungle pool, the frolicsome youth of my visions smiled at me over a lifetime, and I could feel that he recognized me too. I wanted to call him, touch him. I wanted to feel his embrace. We belonged to each other...

"Of course, this is not the whole reason for Mukunda's visit." Baba's voice brought me back to reality.

Suddenly, I remembered where I was, who I was, and my recent commitment to the spiritual path. In the greater scheme of things, Mukunda must represent the supreme temptation, the ultimate sacrifice for me to make, the one thing to renounce. In order to become a nun, as I should, I had to overcome my irresistible attraction to this man, let go of the past, and free myself from earthly bondage. 

Hope you enjoyed this Sunday Snippet. Visit the blogs of the other authors involved in this tour for more exciting excerpts.

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