Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Husband's Lover by Rubina Ramesh

The trilling of the alarm clock woke me up. I pushed my huge torso out of the bed, feeling disgusted at the peaceful, sedate body of my husband. Why am I the only one being punished for being a part of this household? Why am I the responsible one? Like a somnambulist I went to the washroom, splashing cold water on my face, ready to face the realities of life.

A face from the mirror was watching me steadily. Alarmed, I wanted to scream but no sound came out. Had we met before? She looked so familiar? I shook my head to clear the image out. I wondered if I was witnessing the other realm. I splashed some water on the mirror to throw the image out of my washroom, but in vain. I hated ghost stories. In fact even when my grandmother would tell me tales of her childhood I would ignore them and call her superstitious. Something must have stuck in my subconscious mind.

Enough of this, I scolded myself. Be brave and find out what she wants. Tentatively, I raised my hand to wave at her. The young girl did the same but with a smile. “Hi,” I whispered. “What do you want?”

“Freedom.”she whispered with a smile.

“Why are you asking me?” I splashed some more water on the mirror. This time she burst out laughing. A myriad of color surrounded her. No longer was the mirror reflecting my washroom, but a green realm. A beautiful meadow. With visions of the clear sky and flowers growing abundantly, picturesquely. 

“Wait!” I beseeched her. “Don’t go yet. I need to know who you are. Why are you haunting my home?”

Her peals of laughter were creating a lot of confusion in my mind. I took a deep breath and continued to stare in the mirror. Why was she going towards a young man? A secret lover? 
Oh no! 

That was my husband. Oh I get it now. One of my husband’s ex-lover was haunting me. She wanted me out of this house. A feeling of self-pity engulfed me. For all the years I have loved him, seemed to diminish in front of this ghostly apparition.

Unable to bear it any longer I rushed out of the washroom. I kept my emotions at bay, not letting my sorrows mar the day for my  kids. I refused to break down in front of my children. While having breakfast my husband threw me some curious looks- or was it guilt? I am strong, I can handle this.

The day went as usual. Maybe she was stuck in the mirror and could not come out of it. That was fine with me. I did not want to share the rest of my home with her.

After the house became my own solitary world, I decided to find out the truth. Like a good detective, I searched all my husband’s pockets, his old files, even the old kerchiefs which were in the old pile of stacked clothes. Nothing. He was smart after all. Then I saw that he had left his mobile on the dresser. Another indication from God. Feeling guilty, but all for the greater good, I checked the inbox. Five messages from Trudy. Stunned. I rechecked the messaged. She was a consultant at an employing agency. Phew!

So now what? Should I be a prisoner of my thoughts or find a route of escape. Being me- the latter of course. I went back to the washroom mirror and peered in. Sure enough, she was there confirming that she was not a fragment of my imagination.

“Did you search about me?” she asked me clearly enjoying my discomfort.

“Yes,” I sounded croaky even to myself. Clearing my voice I said in a much steadier voice, “ I know you are my husband’s lover. But I could not find anything which connected you to him.”

“Did you check his purse?”

“His purse? No. He has taken that with him.”

“When he returns do that. You will find me.”

“Why are you doing this to me?” Tears were rolling down my cheeks. I hated her for destroying my world.

She gave me a pitying look and turning quietly went back to her world of loveliness.

Staggered I stumbled out of the washroom. It was already afternoon and the kids came back from school. Treading softly around the house, they kept themselves out of my way, knowing it was mommy’s bad day. I wanted to reach out to them, but my confidence had taken a dent due to my husband’s secret love life. Guaranteeing fireworks later in the day, I managed to finish the chores for the day.

By seven I was prepared for the battle. It had been a long hard day for me. Keeping a passive face I let my husband kiss me on my cheeks. Fraud! How could he be so cool? I admired myself for not breaking down in front of the kids. The moment came when he went to attend a conference call in the bedroom.

Quickly I grabbed his purse and went to the washroom. She was there. Fine, we would do this together. I opened his purse feeling like a thief. Hardening myself against the guilt, I quickly searched through his purse. Dollars, credit card, visiting cards, debit cards all piled up on the wash basin. She encouraged me to go on with a smile. At last my fingers found the passport size photos. Gingerly I turned them over. Two of them were of my children, one was his own and the last one was hers- 

No. Not hers. It was me in my twenties.. smiling, laughing.  Just like her. With tears streaming down my cheeks I looked at her.

“Thank you.” I mouthed. 

“Welcome back.” She merged back to her realm.

I smiled and tiptoed out of the bathroom. Searched for my mobile and with my chubby fingers dialed a number. 

The phone on the other side rang for a few second. Just as I was about to give up, a sing song voice said, “Gold Gym. How can I help you today?”

I smiled.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

An Incurable Insanity by Simi K. Rao

Name of the Book: An Incurable Insanity

Name of the Author: Simi K. Rao

Name of the Publisher: Tate Publishing

ISBN-10: 1627465928

ISBN-13: 978-1627465922

Disclaimer: I recieved a ecopy of this novel from The Tales Pensieve  in exchange for  my honest review.

A Sneak Peek...

"Here... lunch." She pushed a box towards him.

"I don't want it."


"I feel awkward."

"But you never felt that way before, so why now?" You took me for granted. She stared reproachfully at him.

"It's different now." My perspective has changed. I behaved like a slave master, it's humiliating. He stared right back.

She pretended to appear disinterested, "you can eat it, give it to your friends or throw it away. This is all I can do to pay you back right now."

"You don't have to worry about paying me back. It's the least that I can do to make up for what I've put you through."

Her chair knocked sharply against the wall, as she jumped to her feet. "What? You think that's compensation enough? Nothing you do will give me back what I've lost! Yes, I agreed to marry you because I was blind and innocent! But who gave you the right to destroy my life, especially since you were having an affair and there was no hope for us? You treated me as if I was a disposable object! Why? Tell me why?"

"Yes I know I'm the worst kind of cad! But my hands were tied! My grandfather was on his death bed, I had no choice!" He snapped back gripping the counter till his knuckles turned white.

Walking up to him, she said softly, "Yes you had  a choice. You could have walked away. You could have been a man."

Buy the book @

The Review...

Ruhi Sharma is a blushing bride, with dreams to have a loving husband and a family. A dream which most of the brides are supposed to dream. But what does a lady do when she is told by her new husband that he is in love with someone else and would prefer to have this marriage annulled?

After her dreams are shattered, she requests Shaan to let her tag along with Los Angeles till she is not ready to tell her parents. Against Shaan’s better judgment, he takes her along thinking that all would be solved according to his own wish. Now that was damn selfish of him, wouldn’t you say?

Ruhi is also of the same opinion and after a stint at playing the docile housewife, she decides she had had enough. Off came the traditional saris and churidaars and her new avatar dazzled Shaan off his senses.

Moreover his girlfriend , who was very much married to Shaan’s superior at the Aeronautics and Space Engineering,was keeping him more as a candy man rather the the true love he believed it to be. With is girlfriend gone, he could now focus more on his wife. To his surprise, [???] he felt very much attracted to her. 

Fate introduced small instances in their life which brought them closer but they both tried to stick to their original deal of “being friends without benefits.”  But then when she did not arrive on time at night, Shaan would be terrified that something is wrong with her. He suddenly became from a detached husband to a nail biting lover. Waiting for if she was late in returning home, rushing back from office just to spend time with her, dinners and walks and most of all the hidden soldering passion which he did not understand himself.

Both knew they loved each other. But Ruhi was too badly hurt emotionally to initiate the discussion and Shaan felt Ruhi would reject him because of his past behavior. And not to forget the looming presence of Shaan’s girlfriend, which was proving to be a bigger thorn then they had anticipated. Would they be able to overcome their differences and have a marriage based on love and mutual respect or would the girlfriend’s presence prove to be too much for Ruhi to handle? Or what the girlfriend say about Shaan not being able to affort a divorce for his career be the cause of divorce between them

What I liked….

This story has all the ingredients to find its way to a readers shelf. The right kind of tension has been created from the beginning. While you sympathise with Ruhi, Shaan too keeps up his end of touching a reader’s heart. Each character was needed in the plot, each doing their role in pushing the protaganists towards each other. 

The Indian setting was drawn up beautifully with marriage ceremonies, Jagjit Singh songs and the love of the author for poetry was evident it this story. Not a a bad touch. Unique yes. And may take some of the readers getting used to it. But it does not affect the overall story.

Another thing I felt I ought to mention is that while Ruhi started out as the timid kind of girl, marrying according to parent’s wishes and still wanting to accept a husband whose heart belongs to someone else, thankfully she does not continue like that and develops a spunk of her own as the story progresses. [though at times a bit too much] but nevertheless, this kind of damsel in distress where a girl takes all the crap from a guy is something I abhor and thankfully Ruhi manages to shift to her fiery self just at the right point in the story.



The story follows a straight line where the boy and the girl marry and work through the difficulties of their marriage. But while reading the story everytime I had to stop to read the explaination of the hindi dialogues kept within the brackets. That somehow caused a few hurdles in the reading of the story.

Ruhi’s fiery self was bordered on obstinancy. While at one point the readers would sympathise with Ruhi, but at times I found her obstinate behavior a tad irritating. Unless, that is what the author had wanted to achieve. 

There is two more things which got me thinking about this story.

1. Did Ruhi and Shaan did not meet before marriage and where he could have told her about his affair? Agreed in India we have arranged marriage system but the boy and the girl does meet before the decision time, right?

2. The character of Sanjana. She is a part of domestic violence without blaming the husband. Ruhi witnesses that and realizes the Shaan is a good husband. That is the measuring factor of a good husband?
I am sorry but though I am not a part of a feminist movement, I felt a tad strongly about this point. But… [yes there is a big but…]

Some of the views that have been brought forward in this story can be related to many of the woman settlers in the USA. For example, Ruhi not having enough money of her own and Shaan initially not thinking about it also. But again if she was a MBA graduate from India, why did she have to work in a provision store. Assuming she had the right to work in USA [ and if she didn’t she couldn’t work in a provision store also unless illegally] she could have worked in any of the companies in the US. It is just that when a reader wants be like Ruhi, these questions would come up. And if all these points are added up the Shaan definitely comes out as the stronger character.  

Would I recommend this to my readers.. definitely. The small instances when they eat Maggie together or clean the baby poop together makes it worth while. Where did the baby come from….? Not telling ….:) Find out for yourself…….

Meet the Author.....

Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several years. Her contemporary romance novel An Incurable Insanity, published by Tate Publishing, will be released on October 8, 2013. An Incurable Insanity is her first foray into writing. The inspiration for the story came from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community. Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from friends and casual conversations with acquaintances. She also writes poetry, is an avid photographer, loves to travel, and is a practicing physician. She currently lives in Denver with her family.

Watch out for her interview at The Tales Pensieve....... Coming Soon!!!!

You can Stalk her @


Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Bluestocking Christmas By Monica Burns

A Bluestocking Christmas (Novella)

By Monica Burns

Disclaimer: I got the ARC copy from the Author via The Enchantress of Book Blog Tours.


Sinful words, wicked pleasures and a ghost all add up to A Bluestocking Christmas with a Dickens of a twist.

As a young man, Simon, Viscount Wycombe learned the painful truth that a tradesman’s daughter is suitable only for liaisons and nothing more. But Ivy Beecham is a far cry from his preconceived notions, and he’s determined to have her. But when she rejects him, it only increases his determination to seduce her into a world of sin and pleasure.

Ivy Beecham knows first-hand that handsome aristocrats like Simon can’t be trusted. But the intellectual scoundrel is hellbent on making her his mistress, using every means at his seductive disposal. When she refuses to give away her heart on Christmas Eve, a ghostly specter shows her in one night why her surrender can be the greatest gift of all.

Available for purchase at 


The Review

To be honest, I am in a bit of a yo-yo position regarding this book. If I take just the story line and follow Miss. Ivy Beecham and her love for Simon, I would be truely impressed. A love story with a moral. Any time works for me. 

Ivy had a difficult childhood with her aunt and uncle, after the death of her parents. She was looked down upon just because her father was not from the nobility but was a tradesman. If she had any moments of love and understanding, it was from her cousin Caroline. So, when it was Caroline who betrayed her and took away her first love, she could not bear it nor forgive Caroline. Now fate had changed their destiny and Caroline was the destitute with three kids and Ivy was the heiress. But Ivy found it hard to forgive and in the process jeopardised her relation with her own true love, Simon. 

Now enters the Christmas spirit of forgiveness in the form of a ghost who takes Ivy through her life making her realise what she has and what she might lose. Beautiful isn't it?

But for all the romance lovers out there, there is nothing angelic about this book. It is HOT. The love scenes studded in this book makes it rather a erotic historical Romance. Simon knows he wants Ivy, though he has reservation about the common class, stemmed from losing his girlfriend to his father. [OUCH!!!!] So when his nephew told him that he had made acquaintance with a certain lady from the common class, Simon was out to protect him, only to fall in love with her. He found that she was not only attractive but very well read and could match him in prose or  poetry from the lines for Wilde or Eliot. [Here I would like to add that the way Monica Burns had used quotations is commendable and shows are aptitude for reading]


I loved the story line and even if it is an erotic fiction, each page turner almost having a love scene is a bit too much. [ again can be a selling factor].

Another problem I had was the abruptness of Caroline's story. I am sure many would argue that she is not a part of this story but there are many questions left hanging with reference to her [unlesss there is a prequel which I am not aware of]. Moreove with regard to her, Ivy came out to be very stubborn and instead of sympathising with her, you tend to get angry at her. But Simon makes up for all her faults.

Would I recommend... Definitely. But for Chirstmas? Depends... what kind of Christmas you are planning to have :) [I really should search for a smiley with a wink]

About the Author

A bestselling author of spicy historical and paranormal romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. Her historical book awards include the 2011 RT BookReviews Reviewers Choice Award and the 2012 Gayle Wilson Heart of Excellence Award for Pleasure Me. She is also the recipient of the prestigious paranormal romance award, the 2011 PRISM Best of the Best award for Assassin’s Heart. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

You can find Monica here: 


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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bride Gone Bad by Sabine Starr

Name of the book: Bride Gone Bad

Name of the author: Sabine Starr

File Size: 730 KB

Print Length: 227 pages

Publisher: eKensington (October 3, 2013)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Language: English


Disclaimer: I got this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.


She is Tempest. A hurricane with a cause. To stop ‘whiskey, poker and Tobacco’ from The Bend. A crusader for temperance. But she found herself in a tricky situation when she entered Red River Salon and chopped ‘Lulu’ into half. [Hilarious!!] But rather than repent about it, she stuck to her guns and justified her actions claiming to fight for families whose bread earners squandered their finances on Salons. But when the other ladies of The Ladies Benevolent Society did not come to her rescue, she was left alone in the Delaware Bend with no family or money. She had to reach the Indian territory for returning home to Jefferson was out of the question. Not only she had family members depending on her for money but also had left a bad marriage behind. But was that her only motive to undertake this journey or did she have a score to settle with someone?


He is Lucky. A treasure hunter? Or was this a cloak to hide the true nature of his work. When he came for Tempest’s rescue he had no idea about her paranormal ability. But after he did find it out, he was sure she was the only one who would be able to help him out in his quest. But would she agree for the journey which would be full of danger- both in terms of life and in matters of the heart?

The Story….

Tempest and Lucky are brought by fate to live in the Lone Star Hotel, where Lucky finds out that she has a supernatural ability – an ability he has a desperate need of. He asks her for help in return for the money she desperately needs to help her family. Once the bond is established, they start on their journey. But the deal is not enough for him to save her from the other ‘Rattler” who would be looking for her. They must become one. She had to become his LadyLove.

And she does. But is it enough to save her from Crawdaddy and Haig [not telling you who they are] ? And what about the Soleil Wheel? What is the secret of Soliel Wheel?



Though the story starts beautifully and I even liked the unexpected paranormal turn what got me down with this story was not the story itself but the love scenes. I found them very crude and out of character in terms of the character etched for Tempest. I am not having a  propaganda against the love scenes [ please we are all romance readers] but those scenes need to be woven in according to the situation. And I found that missing. It felt more like a Wham Bham to me…..Seriously Sabine? Did Lucky have to do that in the hotel room? [naughty!!!]

But if I could ignore the love making scene [God I sound such prude], the story is quite likable with all the ingredients thrown in. Love, suspense, revenge and cowboy in a paranormal situation [the wow factor]. Go for it Readers……… but be prepared for a cold shower…..

Buyt the book at...

Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Author Bio......

Sabine Starr rides the trails of her ancestors by horseback, four-wheeler, and jeep when she explores Wild West myths, legends, and mysteries to locate authentic excitement for her novels. She lives near the Old Shawnee Trail in Texas and in the Kiamichi Mountains of Oklahoma where she writes about lawmen, outlaws, Indians, and honky-tonk gals with a penchant for fast guns, hot guys, and daring adventures.

                                                                   Stalk her @


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cover Reveal Blitz: "Sworn to Conflict" by Terah Edun

Book Blurb:

Ciardis Weathervane fought for the living dead and won. But worse than taking on a mass murderer, was her discovery that she had been deceived by her friends. Now she needs to not only fight a war in the North and survive, but also decide where she stands in the midst of competing sides.

A threat to all she holds dear lies in the North and her heart is not the only thing she might lose. A massive army awaits in the mountain pass, surging closer to the gates of the southern lands. Nothing the Algardis army has done so far has dissuaded their march forward and Ciardis finds out that her powers to enhance are needed now more than ever.

As she faces her greatest fears on the battlefields and her heart is torn between her love of Sebastian and loyalty to her family, Ciardis must choose her fate carefully. For in her path, lies the destiny of the empire.

This third novel continues the story of Ciardis Weathervane from “Sworn To Transfer”.

Release Date: December 6th 2013

Series Order Links:

Sworn To Raise (Book One)

Buy links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Itunes

Sworn To Transfer (Book Two)

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Meet the Author :

Terah Edun's latest YA Fantasy novel, SWORN TO TRANSFER, published on September 17, 2013. Book Three, SWORN TO CONFLICT, will release in December 2013. Her next projects include a new YA Fantasy novel with a girl determined to change the odds on the streets of the city she knows best - Sandrin.

You can stalk her at:


1 Signed “Sworn to Transfer” paperback
1 “Sworn to Conflict” eARC
1 eBook of “Sworn to Raise” or “Sworn to Transfer” 

Monday, October 14, 2013

From The Ashes by Rubina Ramesh

The tinkling of the anklets announced the arrival of the young ladies, Lord Sambara had kept in Lady Mayavati’s honor. Peals of young laughter resonated in the otherwise silent room. But the laughter stopped as their eyes fell on the solitary figure of the lady staring out of the window, overlooking the ocean. Her face reflected the turbulence of the ocean, her anger evident in the stiff stance of the body. The young girls quietened down, well aware of the reason behind Lady Mayavati’s temper.

“My Lady, the bath is prepared and  time is running out. Your Lord might visit you any moment.” Sulochona, the most experience in the lot spoke to her softly.

“Let him.” Mayavati said through her clenched teeth. “Even I am waiting for Sambara.”

The young girls gasped at her usage of his name but kept quiet at the warning look from Sulochona.  “My Lady,” she continued in a placating tone. “You have to forget your past indifference. All said and done he is your lord and master now.”

“Kidnapping someone does not make him a master, Sulochona.”

“But you’ve no other option.” Sulochona really hoped this beautiful, stubborn girl would consent to her Lord or one never knew how the wrath of the Lord would fall on them.

“Is my bride ready?” Boomed the voice of the mighty Asura, Sambara from the hallway. The young girls scurried away, thankful that their master would have his interest occupied somewhere else and not bother them. Though they pitied the beautiful Lady, they could not help her.

“My Lady, my Love.” Sambara’s boisterous voice complimented his appearance. Mayavati shuddered as her eyes took in the protruding red eyes, immersed in madira, his bulging stomach dancing a merry dance of its own, in spite the tightened silken sash hugging him possessively. His stoutness enhanced by the golden ornaments generously endowed on him. Locks of his curly hair fell on his leering face as he came towards her.

“Stay away from me.” She commanded despite the fear in her heart.

“Come on. Don’t be tedious.” He enjoyed the hunt but today her beauty had intoxicated him. In fact, he had not slept a wink from the moment he had seen her wandering in the jungle, gathering flowers. But something about her had stopped him from approaching her. Her defiant beauty, her graceful body and her voluptuous breasts had set fire coursing through his body but a sixth sense had warned him to approach her carefully. Was it the radiance of her beauty or the way she carried herself? Surely she was not a celestial being, was she? 

But his misgivings were unfounded as his soldiers reported that she was an orphan staying in the nearby Rishi’s hermitage. One evening while she was returning he approached her, sure that she would be gratified by his attention.

“You’re the most beautiful maiden I’ve ever met.” His voice rang with sincerity and he sincerely hoped that she would have him as her Lord.

“Thank you. But I’ve been promised to someone else.” She said in a demure voice.

“Oh. Forget him. Even it is any one of the Gods, they cannot truly love you as I will. The God’s are known for their fickleness.” 
She did not seem to get angry. “I don’t know whom I’ve been promised to. But I am sure I am.”

Could things go any more puzzling? 

“Are you playing a game with me?” He demanded. But was quickly mollified at her scared expression. But she surely did not make sense.

“It’s true. Every night I have a dream. I dream of a man who is my husband.”

“Oh. That  I’m sure you will forget once you fall in love with me.”

“No.” The small chin jutted out, enhancing her stubborn thoughts

“I’m sure how my husband ought to look and he is nothing like you.”

“Now, you’re insulting me.” He thundered.

“That she is.” A shrill voice interjected. “ Narayan, Narayan. For a frail lady, she sure can cut the mighty Asura with her words.”

Both Mayavati and Sambara jerked towards the intrusion. Sage Narada stood near the bushes watching them amusedly. This puzzled Sambara. Since when did Narada support the Asuras. Still he had to be respected.

“Greeting O Narada. What brings you here?”

“I’m like the wind. Sometimes here and sometimes there.” Could Narada get any more irritating? But kept his thoughts to himself.

“Greeting O great sage.” Mayavati’s sweet voice sent the flow of love rushing in the Asura’s heart. 

Narada peered into Mayavati’s face. “O what a beauty! No wonder the great Asura is lusting after you.”

“Help me O Sage! I have a feeling I’m destined for someone else.”

“Destined for someone else? Yes I heard you speaking to Sambara.” Nararda smiled and for a moment Sambara was stunned. Why did he get a feeling that Narada was helping him? There was a saying in the Asura world. Being a friend of Narada is equivalent to being an enemy of Narada. He wondered what Narada had up his sleeves.

“You cannot marry the man of your dreams.” Narada continued. Obviously he was on a mission. “And here's such a handsome guy proposing to you. Surely, you should at least think about it.”

There someone realized his worth at last thought Sambara preening like a peacock, which rapidly turned into rage as he saw the look of disgust passing over the lovely maiden’s face. 

“Even the Sage realizes my worthiness. You are ready to live in poverty with the hermits but not as my Queen?” Could she not see how beautiful her life would turn out to be? Well if she could not see, he would just have to show her. 

As if reading his thoughts, Narada laughed gleefully. “Why don’t you show the lady what she would be missing if she did not marry you?”

“How?” Sambara was by now totally bewildered by Narada’s attitude.

“That O Great Asura! Only a man can decide whether the fairer sex is appropriate for him- not the other way round.”

That’s it! How can this chit of a girl, albeit a beautiful one, decide whether he is capable or not. Everyone will laugh at his manhood. Without even waiting to thank Narada, he called his soldiers and his horse and quick as a lightening whisked Mayavati in front of him, shouting and screaming.

And now she stood before him defiant and proud, ready to fight him to retain her virginity. This would be a losing battle for this beauty. Sambara could taste his victory as his mind envisages his ravishment of hers. 

Suddenly her eyes widened as her eyes rested on the wall behind him.

“What? What is the problem?” Surely at the time like this she would not faint? That would surely ruin his plan. 

“Sage Narada is here.” She could not keep the anger out of her voice.

“What? Where?” He whirled around to once again face the great Sage.

Though he was totally irritated at Narada’s impromptu appearance, but seeing the panting state of Narada, he understood that it had to be urgent.

“What’s wrong, O Sage!”

“Sambara, I came running as soon as I heard the news upstairs. She is born to destroy you.”

“What?” Who was more shocked was difficult to gauge- Sambara or Mayavati?

“What are you saying Sage Narada?”Beseeched Mayavati. “I’m already in trouble because of your interference earlier. Now you are planning to get me killed.”

“Oh no, my lady. You cannot be killed by anyone. At least not by Sambara. But if Sambara touches you or forces his lovemaking on you, he will be burnt to ashes.”

Sambara’s face whitened. And to think he was just about to kiss her. He needed time to think and to decide whether Narada was up to his usual trick. He stumbled out of the room, not waiting for Narada to leave.

Sage Narada came towards Mayavati, his face had a jovial smile as if making a Asura angry was his daily affair. Mayavati did not know how to react. 

“Tell me O Sage, what is the meaning of all this. First you instigate Sambara to kidnap me and now you have come up with this bizarre tale.”

Narada smiled at her gently and then much to Mayavati’s shock, bowed to her. “Don’t you remember anything, O Goddess of Beauty and Sensuality. You have come to the place you were destined to come. Mother Parvati had made me promise that when the time comes I will help you to reach your destination.”

“My destination?”Mayvati was getting more puzzled by the conversation.

“Yes. Sambara cannot even touch you. He  will be reduced to ashes.” He declared.

“Then why did you stop him? He would have been reduced to ashes and I would have been saved.” 

“Then my lady, the events of the future would not have taken place and your rebirth would have been futile.” 

Mayavati felt an anger rising within her. She could not be sure where the anger was stemming from. But she could feel a whirlwind rising within her. Her eyes caught her reflection in the mirror. No more the demure girl faced her. Her face flushed with anger, her eyes whirlpools of years of anger and pain, her chest heaving with some past memories,too painful to remember. Right now she felt all her anger was centered to Narada and she woundn’t mind burning him to ashes.

Burning him to ashes? Why did this thought send a tearing pain down to the very core of her being? Why did it invoke images of someone burning? The images felt so real, so potent that she could almost smell burning flesh and hear cries of agony. Beads of perspiration marked her forehead as she staggered to the big bed adorning the center of the room. 

Narada kept on watching her from the corner of the room, making no attempt to help her or soothe her pain away.

Mayawati curled herself into a fetal position willing the pain to go away. Time lapsed, all sounds receeded as Mayavati relived her past. Flashes of memories became a reality. Unheard voices became a clarity and deep buried secrets found their way to her memory. Slowly she got up and turned to Narada still standing in the corner with his head bowed.

“Thank you Narada.” She said quietly.

“Welcome back Goddess Rati.” Narada said humbly. “ I hope you forgive me now for getting you here.”

“Yes. Of course. You were destined to bring me to Sambara’s palace to wait for my Lord Kama to come here.”

“Yes. He is already born to Lady Rukmini.”

Tears glistened in Rati’s eyes. “Thank you for letting me know. So in a month I will see my Lord again.”

“But the road won’t be easy, O Goddess Rati. He won’t remember you and you will not be a wife to him yet. You will have to shower motherly love on him and protect him from Sambara.”

“Don’t worry Narada.” Rati glowed in anticipation of meeting her lord again. “I remember what Mother Parvati had said. I will be my Lord’s mother and teacher till he is  not ready to kill the mayavi Asura, Sambara.”

“Under your guidance, Lord Kama will remember all his mayavi shakti’s. After all you and he are one.” Narada felt humbled by the love Rati had for Kama. He knew Lord Kama would be safe here after he arrives in Samabara’s kitchen in the form of an infant. 

After Narada left, Mayavati aka Rati stood in front of the mirror. Her eyes blazed in anger but her heart felt a hope rising at the upcoming events. Lord Shiva had kept his promise. Now she had to just wait for Pradyuman to arrive. But how could she stop Samabara from destroying the plan? If he could not have her, then he might throw her out of his Palace and that would ruin all her plans.

Well she was known as the greatest Mayavi,wasn't she? Standing in front of the mirror she concentrated and soon the image from the mirror separated from her. 

“You will be Mayavi, my alter self . You will have to please the Asura till my work is not done here.” 

Mayavi bowed. “I will. Rest assured. But where will you be?”

“I will work in the kitchen of this palace where my Lord Kama will be coming as an infant from the womb of a fish. I will wait for him there.”

Mayavi beamed. “That sounds like a great plan. But please call on me as soon as the work is done. Without you I won’t have any existence. I am but your shadow.”

Mayavati thanked her and quickly went out of the room towards the kitchen while Mayavi with her illusionary smile waited for the Lord Sambara to visit her again.

The above story is written by Rubina Ramesh in response to the challenge posted by Siddhesh Kabe at Indifiction. Siddhesh has put up the following challenge to the members.

"This is a challenge I have taken up and would post it for anyone interested. India is full of mythological stories and stories that never made out of the region. For e.g., I visited Talakadu that has an epic story of Mysore King who was cursed that the kingdom would be sunk under sand. 

First point will be to research the stories as it is, second to strip it of its mythology and rewrite the story as you would have written. Look beyond the miracles and magic and write the story as a story teller would tell it. Take any favorite story from any mythology that you have heard since childhood. Wikipedia it for details and rewrite it."

I always found the story of Goddess Rati very facinating. The Goddess of Beauty and Sensuality had a life full of pain and seperation from her lover. She was always waiting for him to return to his form after being cursed by Lord Shiva. She stayed true to him and waited for him to be born as Pradyuman, son of Lord Krishna and Rukmini. But the story does not end there.

While doing my research I came across many hidden untold facets which I would further like to discover and write about. Thank you Siddhesh for putting up this challenge and Luciferhouseinc for having this wonderful group.

Picture Courtsey:*93wwCNIM3DX15J5aIg9E_/NaradMuni1.jpg