Friday, December 23, 2011

Free kindle download for the holidays on Vijaya's books!

Find ASHES FOR THE ELEPHANT GOD and CHECKMATE (Archangel Book Two) in free download on Amazon today.

Free kindle download HERE

Two lovers, murdered in a previous life, meet again in this life in India, where their murderess awaits...

"... 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

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

", sensual... multilayered... a thriller... magical, mystical book..." Writer's Digest
Archangel Book Two - CHECKMATE
Download it for free today on Amazon HERE

"Sword-and-shield adventure... aliens and angels and dreams truer than life and depraved shapeshifters and evil sorcerers and parallel universes... Funny and sad and very intelligent." --The Book Reader Magazine

"Wickedly insightful. Grab this today along with the prequel, Archangel Crusader." --Curled up With a Good Book - 5 stars

"...charm that keeps you reading... A fun piece of escapism... hours of sheer entertainment." --Rapport Magazine

"You will be hooked... a good read from start to finish." --Alan Caruba - BookViews

"Rollicks right along at a good clip... a fun concoction and a fast, zippy read... Really, this one is among the most pleasurable." --Writer's Digest

Enjoy the gifts.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Guns, Swords, Cats, Romance with a kick

Friday, December 16, 2011

Welcome guest author Stephanie Burkhart

Stephanie is the author of the December 15 release called "The Faberge Secret." It's an international contemporary romance, novella size, something a little different from Stephanie's werewolf historical series, Romance Under the Moonlight.


STEPH: Vijaya, I'd like to thank you for having me here today? I'm a big fan of your Chronicles of Kassouk series and I'm looking forward to Noah's Ark.

VIJAYA: What prompted you to write in different genres, like paranormal werewolf romances, historical, steampunk, and now contemporary? Is there more?

STEPH: Actually, there is more! The Green Rose is a fantasy romance and is due to be released 1 April with Desert Breeze. When I first started writing, I tried my hand at contemporary and really enjoyed it, finding I had a very good contemporary voice. I got away from the contemporary genre for a couple of years, but Mona Risk's international contemporaries have revitalized my interest in writing the genre again. Having spent 7 years in Europe during my time in the military, I developed a passion for traveling and learning about different cultures. What attracted me to paranormal writing was the concept of bringing out the humanity in a supernatural being. My paranormals tap into my love of the gothic. (as inspired by Victoria Holt)

When I started writing paranormals in the mid-2000's, it was a "hot" subgenre. Wanting to be different, I decided to deal with werewolves. I also wanted to place my paranormals in the late 1800's, early 1900's. It's a historical period that involves a lot of change and modernization that fascinates me. This time period resonates deeply in my soul. I'm very comfortable writing it. While I like reading historicals prior to 1850's, I find my historical voice is lacking for anything prior to 1850.

What I like about steampunk is how it requires a blend of elements – Victorian historical and paranormal steampunk allows an author to really expand their imagination. You have to envision a Victorian era world (a historical element that I feel fairly comfortable in) with fantastical steam drive futuristic gadgets with a paranormal element. (which I feel comfortable with)

I'd like to think, as a writer, I'm open to multiple subgenres. It allows me to grow, expand, learn, and sharpen my craft.

VIJAYA: Do your readers easily make the transition from one genre to the other? Do you use several names? How do you manage it?

STEPH: I'd like to think my readers manage the transition effortlessly because of my writing style. Regardless of genre, my stories engage the reader right away and I've got a writing style that's easy to read and flows well.

I do have a pen name – SG Cardin, my maiden name and when I write for the horror genre, I usually use my pen name.

I'm a hard copy note girl. My thoughts, story ideas, plot outlines, character bios are all neatly organized in a binders. I usually write one novel or short story at a time so I can give it my full attention.

VIJAYA: I see a trend in your books and a fascination with Central and Eastern Europe. Do you have roots there? Do you like the setting, the people from that area of the world? Have you been there?

STEPH: My ancestry is French, Polish, and Ukrainian. I grew up in Manchester, NH, the 2nd largest French speaking town in the US. At an early age I was completely fascinated with my French roots. I had 3 years of high school French. I wish I could have started my French studies earlier. I love the language, but I'm not quite fluent. As a senior in high school I had a Russian history class which resonated deeply within my soul. It was about this time the Army recruiter approached me about joining the Army and I saw this opportunity to travel to Europe so I took it.

Part of my heritage growing up involved Polish customs. At Christmas my grandmother would cook a feast of Polish foods – pierogi, stuffed cabbage, beet soup, fish soup, but I didn't appreciate it then as I do now. In 1997, I had a chance go to go Poland. I visited a pottery factory, but I also saw a land that wasn't as modernized as the west. In 2005, I read a novel, "Push Not The River," which really made me feel proud of my Polish heritage.

I spent 3 months in Hungary in 1997, on a military deployment. Hungary, and Budapest, especially was a jewel in Central Europe, a unique blend of the west and east. The Hungarians I met in Hungary were a wonderful people. Being on a military base, I dealt a lot with Hungarian translators and I admired them. Hungarian is a bear of a language and very different from English and the Romance languages I was familiar with. It takes real talent to translate from Hungarian to English.

The Hungarians I got to know were talented, giving people, eager to share their customs of Hungary with us. They were friendly and honest.

VIJAYA: How much research goes into your stories?

STEPH: It depends on the story. My steampunk, "Victorian Scoundrel," had me spending a good 3 weeks in research. For my paranormals, it takes about a week. They I spend a good week with preliminary task, plot outlines, characters development, etc.

VIJAYA: Tell us about your action packed past, your military career, your LAPD connections:

STEPH: I joined the U.S. Army in 1986. I was 18, and wanted to see the world. My MOS was 95B, Military Police, and I completed my basic and advanced training at Ft. McClellan, AL. My training was rigorous, but I learned things and did things I would have never done. I shot an M16 Assault Rifle and an M60 machine gun. I went on field problems and mile long marches.

When I went to Europe, I performed physical security duties and flew in a schnook. I went on field training exercises with the British Army. The British don't incorporate female soldiers so integrally into their army. (at least they didn't in 1987) and many British soldiers were duly impressed to see an American female MP. I enjoyed meeting British soldiers and learning about them. One thing I liked about the British was their MOPP gear, (mission orientated protective posture) which is worn when an NBC (nuclear, chemical, and biological threat) was elevated. Everything was Velcro and easy to put on.

I left the Army in 1998 and was hired by LAPD as a 911 dispatcher in 2000. I enjoy my job very much and find it very rewarding. I work a variety of positions as a "PSR" (police service representative) but nothing is as challenging as answering 911.

VIJAYA: I see lots of new titles coming up from you next year. Can you tell us about those?

STEPH: Sure. My Desert Breeze Titles include:

Twilight Over Moldavia – 1 JAN 2012 - Paranormal/werewolf romance - This is book 2 of my Moldavian Moon Series. Prince Stefan has been cursed to become a werewolf. As he tours Romania, he's hunted by a werewolf. Can Caroline's love free him from his curse?

The Green Rose – 1 APR 2012 - Fantasy romance - The peace of Gaia is threatened when the evil mage, Balthyser kidnaps King Juris of Tapin and King Edward of Daháka. Sonia and Ivánstan must seek out the magical green rose in the hopes of defeating Balthyser.

A Gentleman and A Rogue – 1 NOV 2012 - Steampunk romance - In Book 2 of The Windsor Diaries, Edmund and Alice travel back in time to "right" the time line, but Jonas Byron has other plans. Complicating matters is Edmund's brother, Richard, the guardian of the time line. He's sent back to stop Edmund from making mischief. Will Edmund "right" the time line and finally win Keira Russell's heart?

The Secret Door – 1 DEC 2012 - Paranormal/werewolf romance - This is book 4 in the Budapest Moon Series. It's 1927 in Budapest, Hungary. Sophia Varga is a well known Hungarian actress who finds herself in love with Zoltan Kristos, the Minister of Reconstruction and a werewolf. Sophia and Zoltan embark on a secret and passionate love affair, but their love will be tested when their secret is discovered.

My latest release is an international contemporary novella entitled: The Faberge Secret.

Elise Goodwin runs a heritage museum in Brattleboro, Vermont. She travels to Boston to buy some items for her museum at Sotheby's auction. What she acquires is a delicious surprise that would excite any curator – a Faberge egg.
Enter Russian businessman Dimitri Romanov. He goes to the auction with the intent of buying the egg only to discover that Elise is in possession of it. His dilemma? He's attracted to the petite brunette with doe-like eyes and a trusting disposition.

Complicating matters is Dimitri's rival, Gustav Kelch, who wants the precious jeweled object for his own collection. Can Dimitri protect Elise from Kelch?


His gaze was as soft as a caress. He reached out and tucked a stray tendril of her hair behind her ear. Slowly, he curved his hand around the nape of her neck and moved closer so there was no space between them. Their lips skirted each other's, teasing, tempting, until Dimitri's mouth captured hers in a drugging kiss.

His lips were firm – persuasive. He smelled wonderful – soap and sandalwood. Something intense flared within her. She fisted her hands against the lapels of his coat. Her body betrayed her desire. His erection pressed against her thigh.

All of a sudden, an all-crushing fear consumed her. He was hard for her. It was too soon, too fast. She broke the kiss, practically pushing him away.

"Elise--" Dimitri began.


Elise's heart jumped. She swung around and looked at the door. Dimitri peered over her shoulder.

It was slightly open.

"Lucy!" Elise forgot about Dimitri's kiss and pushed open the door, rushing in. Dimitri was right behind her. Concern spiked within her the second she saw Lucy.

Lucy's hands and feet were tied to a chair and a gag was in her mouth. The room was thrashed. Their suitcases were turned over; clothes and books were tossed haphazardly about.

Fear knotted inside Elise. She rushed to the chair and took off the gag. Dimitri also rushed to the chair and began untying the knots at Lucy's feet. Concern for her friend was evident in his eyes. Elise was thrilled that Dimitri helped with no hesitation or reservations.

"What happened? Who did this?" asked Elise.

"They were looking for the egg," said Lucy. She glanced at Dimitri, but instead of her earlier resistance to him, gratefulness filled her eyes.

Dimitri froze, glancing up, his stare drilling into Elise. "Egg? A Faberge egg?"

Elise loosened one of the knots around Lucy's hand. She looked at Dimitri, perplexed. "What do you know about Faberge eggs?"

He muttered something to himself in Russian, finished untying Lucy's knot around her second foot and stood, straightening his shoulders.

"That's what I lost – that's what I've been looking for – my Faberge egg."

Visit Stephanie at:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A DESPERADO FOR CHRISTMAS has a new price for the holidays - Vijaya Schartz

Just in time for the holidays, you can now get A DESPERADO FOR CHRISTMAS for 99 cents in all formats at SmashWords, and in Kindle from

Not just another busy night on the Arizona border.

Rookie Border Patrol Agent Kaitlin Harrington hates Christmas and all men, since her lover jilted her and she lost her unborn child on Christmas Eve. This year, as she guards the Mexican border in southern Arizona, she encounters more than she can handle. No amount of training prepared her to arrest the gorgeous desperado who challenges her. His name is Miguel, a human smuggler fascinated by the green eyes of the feisty auburn-haired beauty bent on impeding his important work. But Miguel is a man of many secrets. And on this dangerous adventure through the Arizona desert, anything can and will happen.

"A Desperado for Christmas is a love story and an adventure rolled in to one. There is very little "down time" in this fast-paced story, and this reader was glued to it until the very end." Fallen Angel Reviews
"...The reader can really empathize with her character on many levels. Ms. Schartz also does a fantastic job of setting you right in the scene with her characters. She builds the suspense and follows through with vigor, sweeping her readers up in the action." Coffee Time Romance

"Vijaya Schartz always manages to produce stories that are a spectacular blend of romance and action and this one is no exception." CK2S Kwips & Kritiques

"...a romantic adventure from beginning to end. Brimming with twists, secret identities and danger on every page, this is a page turner that will entertain any reader. I will be interested in checking out additional titles by this author." Joyfully Reviewed

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Guns, Swords, Romance with a kick

Vijaya's books at

Vijaya's eBooks at ARe:

Vijaya's nooks at:

Vijaya's books at Smashwords:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Comfortable Moments - by A.R. Norris

My friend and I were having lunch and the discussion moved to relationships. My friend asked me what my favorite memory was with my husband.
“Geez. 16 years adds up to a lot of memories,” I said. (This was a while ago. We’re on 18 years now.)

“One,” she insisted. “And not the birth of your children. It has to be an experience that was just you and him.”

I sat back and one memory kept floating to the surface. No, that couldn’t be my favorite memory, I thought. It’s so... boring and dull. But it wouldn’t go away. It was my favorite memory.

“Ash and I dropped the kids at my sisters and snuck off to the beach. It was Fall and the northern coast was warm and there was no wind for a change. We’d brought a blanket thinking we’d need to sit on the sand wrapped up in it, but instead we were able to lay it out. Ash and I sat and talked. Then laid and talk. And then took a nap together on the beach.”

Huh, who would’ve thought?

But in hindsight, it makes sense. This was quite some time ago and between then and this post I had a major health issue. After the ambulance took me to the hospital in the city for surgery, my husband dropped the kids off at my sisters and met me there. We sat in the patient room and talked. When I got tired, I laid the bed down and with him sitting in the guest chair, we talked. Then we took a light nap together. (That could’ve just been me sleeping... can’t be sure.)

Passion is exciting, yes. And it burns hot, most certainly. But the most meaningful and deep moments are often those quiet moments where it’s just you and him, beyond the passion. Because let’s face it, passion without love it like a fire with only kindling... it burns fast and then is dead. Love is the log that keeps the fire going.

In my latest release, Revelations of Tomorrow, Doctor Brenda Bonney and Captain Makai Yourimoc have one of those comfortable moments. Well, if they weren’t chasing space pirates and stopping a terrorist plot, who knows, their courtship probably would’ve taken years with how understated and introverted they are.


Brenda and the captain returned the way they'd come, not speaking. The sounds of woods were calming and she enjoyed the moment of quiet. She'd grown up in space, mostly in vessels. There'd always been something running and making a disruptive noise of some sort. These sounds of nature were in synch with the environment.

"You do not smile enough, Doctor." He slipped the machete back in its scabbard, on the opposite side from his standard sword.

She'd expected it so make a shish sound as it slid in, but it was silent. So much for the inertial vids.

"Please, call me Brenda." She decided not to respond to his observation, not sure whether it was a complaint or a compliment. Maybe a mixture of both.

"Okay, Brenda it is, if you call me Makai, of course."

They fell into a content quiet for some time. Brenda immersed herself in her surroundings on the way back through the forest. The noises blended together could've come across chaotic. Instead, the rustling of leaves, chattering of various animals, and the crackling of brush underneath their feet made for harmonic music. Added with the mixed smells of flowers, rotting woods, damp ground foliage, and the subtle acrid scents of weeds, the experience was rich and if she could describe it thusly -- thick.

Coming from the sterile environment of vessel living, she found the organic surrounding enveloping. The connection beyond her physical self and a sense of relaxed enjoyment spread through her spirit.

"These woods are very peaceful. I'm surprised there's no settlement here. It'd be a great vacation spot," she voiced to her quiet, contemplative companion and wondered if his thoughts were in line with her own.

"It is unusual. I was raised on a planet similar to this. It can be very peaceful, but also very... enclosing." A flash of grief crossed his face and his mouth tightened momentarily before he sighed and looked out beyond her into the trees.

Before she had a chance to filter herself, she asked, "Why does that make you sad, Makai?"

He stared down at his hands a moment and blinked several times. Many minutes they walked in silence. Brenda began to assume he wouldn't tell her. Her heart ached for him and she wanted to reach out and grasp his arm in comfort.

"My wife," he started, but his voice cracked. "My wife and I settled on my planet for many years. She loved our home. Several years ago I uprooted her to take a position on a satellite station."

The shock of his marriage startled her. The idea had never crossed her mind and the revelation caused her a little embarrassment at the direction many of her thoughts had gone since their introduction. "Oh. I'm sure your wife adjusted well to the station."

"No. She never made it. I'm a widower now." He said it in the simple way she'd heard other long-term widowers say it. Grief settled on him like a long worn suit, very deep inside and only came out occasionally during strong memory triggers.

She didn't touch him. It would be wrong at the moment, disrespectful to his wife's memory. Just as any comment would've been insincere.

He shook off the moment. "I apologize. It hits me sometimes unexpectedly. It was many years ago and I've managed to reconcile the grief." To prove it, he bent without missing a stride and plucked a purple flower. Handing it to her he said, "You look like a fairy in these woods, Brenda."

She allowed a small gasp, took the flower, and sniffed the beautiful scent. "Your wife must've been very lucky in her marriage."

They smiled at each other and completed the rest of the walk in a content silence.


Purchase Links:

Amazon kindle - B&N nookAll Romance eBooks
Also from the Sony Reader Store, and Apple's iBookstore