A beautiful warrior princess. A tormented prince. A terrible choice between love, duty, and spiritual freedom.
Rebellious Dhara runs away from her Himalayan clan to study with the powerful yogi Mala, a mysterious woman with a violent past. Flung by war onto an adventure-filled journey, Dhara meets and captures the heart of Siddhartha, whose skill in the martial arts and extraordinary mental powers equal her own.
Worldly power and pleasure seduce Dhara, creating a chasm between her and her husband, who longs to follow a sage’s solitary path. She takes on the warrior’s role Siddhartha does not want, while Siddhartha’s discontent with royal life intensifies.
Their son’s birth brings on a spiritual crisis for the prince. If he leaves his kingdom to seek enlightenment, he turns his back on love and duty and risks destroying his people. Only Dhara can convince him to stay…
The Mountain Goddess, the second book in the Sadhana Trilogy, is set in the fascinating world that gave birth to yoga and Buddhism.
Steeped in India’s myths and legends, this novel is fresh territory for Western readers of fantasy and historical epics such as works by Tolkien, T.H. White, Guy Gavriel Kay, and George R.R. Martin’ Game of Thrones books. Through its strong female characters, it will appeal to readers of historical fiction with a woman’s perspective.
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. Being 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 begin her own practice.
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? Thus began the Sadhana trilogy, three novels about the personal and spiritual struggles of women who knew Siddhartha. The first book, The Tigress and the Yogi, will be released in January 2016.
Shelley hung up her black belt to practice Iyengar yoga. Both disciplines have enriched her life and the fictional world of her books.