Shakti of the Illuminated Lotus by Luki Belle – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Luki Belle will award a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In a fictitious, mysterious, and futuristic Earth, the Western and Eastern continents are poised to become entangled in an ancient holy rivalry and epic battle.

The enigmatic and powerful king of Asukhas rules over the technologically, scientifically, and militarily advanced Western Continent, closely guarding his blissfully ignorant population of captive humans.

The golden-haired spirit, Ahankara, is suddenly released from captivity in the void and unleashes a powerful reptile upon the world’s oceans.

Associate professor of philosophy Anjali Valpolicella seeks psychotherapy from renowned Western psychologist Dr. AlexanDRA, and their therapy sessions may reveal an important secret to possessing the much-coveted Trident of Kumarun.

In Shakti of the Illuminated Lotus: A Dark, Erotic & Futuristic Fantasy for Adults oceans roil as factions doggedly compete in a dark and erotic quest to find the Trident, hidden by the Eastern continent’s divine panthers for centuries. The fate of the World teeters on the brink. Who will possess the Trident? Do they want to use it to gain access to the holy realm of Juwala, or will they use the Trident to destroy the realm and take command of military forces of unimaginable power?

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Did you know that you are a descendant of the Asukhas? You are both holy and unholy, human, and divine, gifted in profound ways that lie dormant in your being awaiting the touch of Shakti to ignite the fire of the Asukha in you! Yearn not for the blissful abode of Juwala, the place of eternal happiness, behind the deep blue sky, for in Kumarun’s realm you will revolt for what you are which is an Asukha in body, spirit, mind and in your thirst and hunger for self-enlightenment. You are beast and you are divine, never forget that!

The Rise of Asukhas

It now comes to the story of your ancestors, dear reader. You hailed from the Spirits of Illumination and from the once holy teachers of Juwala, Vrishaaktan, Balaktaan and Golikdan. After the separation from Kunjahl and Ahankara, the three teachers and seventy-seven Spirits of Illumination suffered for months, fighting their uncontrollable hunger for flesh. The impact of Trishna upon them was severe but through the unholy powers, which they had acquired in the caves of the ocean, after banishment from Juwala, these beings resisted being destroyed by Trishna’s essence. They all went into hiding, afraid of themselves and of what they were becoming. The terror of their unholy selves was fearful. The powers that they were gaining overwhelmed these once holy beings. Unable to provide solace and comfort to each other, the three teachers parted ways, seeking out dark places on earth to hide and suffer.

About the Author:Luki Belle works in the media industry. Listening avidly to stories from diverse cultural fiction books read to her by her extended family, storytelling was a fixture from early childhood. Pouring over magnificent and enchanting illustrated books in her family’s library, Luki was drawn to the mythology of South Asian Indians, Greeks, and Romans. These diverse mythologies were her strongest inspiration when, many years later, she started penning the first outline for her debut novel, Shakti of the Illuminated Lotus.

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Background of the Book by Luki Belle – Guest Post and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Luki Belle will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Background of the Book

The Delicate Affair of Colonel Baquiste (TDACB) is a story from a fictitious colonization era set within two fictitious nations, Hastan and Llehstanz, nevertheless, the human elements showcased in this novel are very real and pertinent to our current times.

I wrote TDACB because of my personal life experiences having been born and grown up in post-colonial countries, having been on the receiving end of hate, racism, and prejudice. Call it a means to self-heal with an aspiration to believe that it is possible to overcome prejudice if we recognize that in our human imperfections lie the opportunity for change and the power to choose towards a positive outcome. If we were perfect and absolute, change would not be possible, if we all put our anger out into the world it would be destructive. But, if we helped ourselves compassionately, we would inevitably help others positively. It all begins with self-healing and the means to do that is to learn to change our psychological masks by allowing ourselves to immerse in another person’s world, to view the world through a different lens, to take off, even if momentarily, any forced uniform and imposed roles and to disguise ourselves, if only to catch a glimpse of our own former self and to understand the world from a different perspective.

In TDACB, the Colonel goes under disguise to fulfill a military mission while immersing himself in the same society that was conquered by his nation, by the military of the Llehstanz Monarchy. Under the disguise of naturalist Gulaan Dasmire, is the Colonel able to see his actual self (Valstohl Baquiste) and begins to reconcile Valstohl’s tragic past. The persona of Gulaan and Valstohl are examined by the Colonel only in disguise which ultimately leads to Colonel Baquiste’s delicate change of heart and allows him to reconcile his past grief.

Things could have gone very differently for the Colonel if he chose differently. What I beautifully learned while writing TDACB, which holds true to my personal experience is that positive messages are never the loudest. They are usually the gentle nudges you get in the journey of life, coaxing you into choosing towards beneficial progress. I depict this in several ways throughout my novel (no spoilers), to nudge the Colonel into accepting something he has been consciously, subconsciously, and unconsciously denying or has been avoiding. In contrast, I have found from my personal experiences that negative factors scream the loudest and the Colonel sure had his share of tragic events that impacted him.

All the other characters in TDACB are also forced to choose. Master Jeshn Yervaan’s choice mattered the most and I have found myself asking many times how I would have chosen differently if I were him. Important to note that there were domino effects from decisions that were made by Colonel Baquiste and Jeshn Yervaan. This is also pertinent to our lives because we do not exist in isolation, and we must try our best to assess how our individual choices can affect those directly and indirectly connected to us. We are all empowered in some way or another to choose. Even a child is empowered to choose as is shown by the Hastana boy Chamcham who is at the center of the tense relationship between Gulaan (Valstohl) and Jeshn. While the boy is impacted by choices made by the adults around him, he too is empowered, and he makes a couple of bold and brave decisions.

Now to choose we must observe first, and this is another important aspect in TDACB. The act of observation is a key trigger to most events in the novel starting with a very subtle act of observation hinted at, at the very beginning, which is explained at the very end. I believe that what we observe is impacted as much as we who are observing are impacted. An observation does not have to last for minutes or hours, it could be in a matter of seconds, and it is about what gets transpired, in that split moment, by what observes you or what you observe. Our brain is super powerful, and it does make very fast decisions. See if you can identify the key observation trigger that started off the story for Colonel Baquiste when you get near the end.

Layering upon the theme of observation and in conjunction with the act of being in disguise, the Colonel is able to observe himself objectively as Valstohl while being in disguise as Gulaan. Many monologues are possible for the Colonel only through this means and it is ultimately his way to reconcile tragedy and prejudice.

Finally, in the path to self-healing and or reconciliation it is important to be empathetic to oneself as well as to others who impacted you negatively. To do this one must try to imagine. It is easy to create the negative story about what is unknown to fill in the gaps, the brain does not like gaps, and it will create its own story to be able to happily put away something that is nagging or is open ended. In TDACB, I intentionally create a latitude for the reader to be able to imagine the past of the characters and the events that could have led to an outcome, which the Colonel experiences. The reader can imagine Valstohl Baquiste’s military past, the Yervaans’ past, what led to Lieutenant Colonel Brune Farmagash’s decision in chapter 13. Even the Colonel is forced to imagine what happened to his father and what decisions could have led to the fateful night at the Yervaan palace many years ago from the present moment in the story.

Imagination keeps us alive, and it can also get us into trouble, but it has the beauty and the potential to make us empathize with another when we do not know what led to another human’s actions and words. Imagination is a powerful tool if we can use it positively.

The setting: two fictitious nations, Hastan and Llehstanz, in a past imaginary era of colonization.

The Llehstanz Monarchy won its final battle over Hastan to colonize the nation after years of war. The battlefield charge was led by a reputable, young, ruthless, and handsome Colonel Valstohl Baquiste. Highly skilled but equally arrogant, he holds a prejudice against the people of Hastan. Tragically, Colonel Baquiste was unexpectedly attacked during the last battle leaving him physically disabled. Realizing his military life is over, the embittered Colonel Baquiste awaits his dismissal to return to Llehstanz. However, he is offered a second chance for victory.

Colonel Baquiste is called back to military duty on a secret mission. He must go alone in disguise to capture elusive thugs terrorizing the Llehstanzite regiment. In accepting the mission, Baquiste realizes he is no longer fighting an enemy on a battleground when he travels to stay at the palace of renowned Southern Hastana landowner, Sir Bojeshnomaan Yervaan. Yervaans’ sinister nature ensnares Baquiste while the delicate assignment compels him to confront his tragic past and his prejudice against Hastanas. If the ambitious Colonel wants victory, it will require him to use not just his grit but also his heart.

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I would take your place if you ordered me Valstohl. You still have five hours to get on that ship and go home. Let Masim clean up this mess on his own reputation, this is not your problem. And if you fail then he will just find another officer and keep trying. Your life is not worth this! Go home, start a family, you are the only Baquiste heir. Don’t take this mission!

About the Author:Luki Belle works in the media industry. Storytelling was a fixture from childhood when she would listen to stories told by her grandparents, parents, sisters, and cousins who would read to her from diverse cultural fiction books. Growing up, Luki was fortunate to live in various parts of the world and experience beautiful cultures. During this time, she embraced and appreciated diversity among people while recognizing through love, overcoming pain, or grief, one can truly bond with others leading to unimaginable positive outcomes.


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