Friday, February 24, 2012

New SubGenres of Romance and Vijaya Schartz, at the Tucson Festival of Books - March 10/11, 2012

There is a buzz around. The Tucson Festival of Books is featuring panels about the new genres of Romance, like Paranormal and Sci-Fi Romance, and I will be part of that panel. An article featured in MarketWatch (the online Wall Street Journal) and on MSNBC on February 23, made a splash in the national media. I am thrilled to have been named in that article in such company, with Stephanie Meyer and Shiloh Walker. Read it at:

In any case, not only this huge festival (comparable to the L.A. Book Festival) is recognizing romance as an important part of what people read, but also all its various new subgenres. As a writer of romantic science fiction, this is the subgenre I will represent, in a panel with Zoe Archer and Lynn Rush on Saturday March 10 at 4 pm in the Koffler building, room #216, titled "More than Romance." It should be a dynamic event.

The Tucson Book Festival, the fourth annual community event is organized to bring together authors, publishers and the reading public in an arena friendly to families. Net proceeds from the festival are used to promote literacy in Southern Arizona. They have already donated $500,000, earnings from the previous three festivals, to local literacy groups, including Reading Seed, The Literacy for Life Coalition (which is now Literacy Connects) and the UA for their literacy programs.

The 2012 Tucson Book Festival takes place on:
•Saturday, March 10, 2012, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
•Sunday, March 11, 2012, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

General Admission is free. Booths and exhibits are set up at the UA Mall, along East University Blvd, stretching from Old Main to east of Cherry Avenue, where a new Science City venue will be set up. Parking is free at all UA surface lots and in six UA garages: Cherry Avenue, Highland Avenue, Main Gate, Park Avenue, Sixth Street and Tyndall.

Hope to see many of you there.

Vijaya Schartz

Blasters, Guns, Swords, Cats, Romance with a Kick

Monday, February 20, 2012

Interview with Author Cynthia Woolf

Welcome Cynthia woolfe, sci-fi romance author of Centauri Midnight, and many other titles in this fascinating series. Her books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at Smashwords. Her motto is: From Cowboys to Space Captains... true love has no boundaries.
Cynthia, What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?I think you should go for it. But make sure you do it right. Get a good cover, get an editor or at least have someone who can edit well read it for you. I read each of my books through 3 times before I give it in full to my critique partners for beta reading. I also have other beta readers who read it before it gets published.

Do you have critique partners?
I have the most amazing critique partners. They each have their strengths and the are all incredibly talented writers. All but one is currently published and that person will publish by the end of January.

What is your favorite dessert/food?I love anything with chocolate, but my favorite dessert is carrot cake. My mother made the most amazing carrot cake with real cream cheese icing. It was to die for.

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?It’s not really very likely unless they have something that makes them stand out from the crowd. Some character trait that I can see when I meet them.

What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?The hardest for me to write is conflict. I avoid conflict in my real like as though it was the plague. So I tend to try and do that with my characters as well. Thank goodness for my critique group who are like an enforcer and make me put in the conflict the story needs.

Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park?Well it definitely wasn’t a walk in the park. I’ve been writing seriously, with the goal of publication since 1990. It’s been a long hard process, that culminated with me publishing my books on my own. So I’d have to say it was fraught with peril.

CYNTHIA'S BIO:Cynthia Woolf was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends. Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.
Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

She worked her way through college and went to work full time straight after graduation and there was little time to write. Then in 1990 she and two friends started a round robin writing a story about pirates. She found that she missed the writing and kept on with other stories. In 1992 she joined Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America. Unfortunately, the loss of her job demanded the she not renew her memberships and her writing stagnated for many years.
In 2000, she saw an ad in the paper for a writers conference being put on by CRW and decided she'd attend. One of her favorite authors, Catherine Coulter, was the keynote speaker. Cynthia was lucky enough to have a seat at Ms. Coulter's table at the luncheon and after talking with her, decided she needed to get back to her writing. She rejoined both CRW and RWA that day and hasn't looked back.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she's made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

Find Cynthia's other books on Amazon:



“Audra, please. You’re my queen but you’re also my friend. You must grant me this last request. Let me go after him.” Tensign Kiti Dolana paced the beautiful sitting room. Bile rose in her throat threatened to strangle her. Finally, she collapsed into a chair it’s soft cushions swallowing her as she sat across the small, highly polished and gleaming, coffee table from the Queen of Centauri, her friend.

The Queen, pregnant with triplets, her beautifully distended tummy disallowing much frivolous movement, reclined on the couch. She sat up to pour the tea but had trouble reaching the tea pot in the middle of the coffee table. “Kiti would you pour our tea, I’m a bit like a beached whale right now.” Audra was anything but a beached whale. Kiti knew the colloquial term from her study of Earth.

Her queen was radiant. Her long, chestnut hair falling in waves to her waist was gathered on one side of her head. Her clear gray eyes shone bright in her pale face. She wore a beautiful royal purple empire waisted dress that highlighted her pale features. She was beautiful. Kiti remembered a time, on their way back to Centauri from Earth, when she’d not thought so, because she was jealous.

That was before Audra’s marriage to Darius and when she’d still be betrothed to Anton. Kiti had been in love with Anton, at least she thought she was, and was jealous of Audra. Some of the things she said were unkind, but Audra had seen them for what they were, jealousy and forgiven her the words. They were now the best of friends.

Kiti poured the tea and continued to beseech her queen. “Audra, you have to let me go after him. He killed my brother Joridan, his actions led to Anton being captured and tortured. I need to see they get justice, they deserve it.”

“And you are sure it is only justice you seek?” Audra softly asked.

“Damn it, Audra.” Kiti was up and pacing the room again. Her long black hair was tied in a high pony tail and swung back and forth with each step she took. The thick, plush carpet kept her boots from clicking on the floor. “I’m begging you to let me go with Garrick Marcus. It’s not just revenge I need. I need closure. I’m the one who should deliver Tybold to the authorities. Garrick Marcus is the best captain in the fleet and I know Darius is sending him after Tybold. Joridan needs us both to avenge his death. To bring his murderer back to Centauri for justice to be served.”

“Kiti, are you combat trained? We don’t know what to expect from the Proconians. By this time, Tybold could have convinced them we are conquerors and he’s their only salvation. We don’t know. It could be a suicide mission. I don’t want to lose my best friend.” She went on. “I know you’re grieving. Joridan’s loss and Lara’s return has been very hard on you.”

“Stop.” Kiti jumped up and started to pace again. “I know what my life has been like. I mourn the loss of Joridan life and Anton’s capture and torture by Slavarien. Joridan was my little brother. Even though he was a head taller than me he will always be my little brother. I still smell Joridan’s scent in his room. Sometimes it’s so fresh it’s like he just passed by.” Her eyes filled with tears, “I miss the closeness that Anton and I once shared but I do not bemoan him finding Lara. I’m very happy he found his lifemate. It was something he never thought to be able to do. After the torture that both Anton and Lara suffered at the hands of the Slavariens, it’s amazing that they found each other. I wish I had a lifemate out there somewhere.

“Audra, I’m a historian and anthropologist, but first I’m Dragonera. Of course, I am combat trained. All Dragonera are. We are the Royal Guard. We are the best.”

“Yes. You’re right, but I worry anyway. Must be my maternal instinct.” Audra patted her belly.

“You know that the people of Procon are centuries behind us technologically. I’m the only person who can go on this mission that knows anything about their culture.”

“I don’t know,” Audra hesitated.

“Admit it. Garrick needs me.”

“We don’t interfere in the development of other planets’ civilizations. You know that.”

“Tybold has already interfered. I say we’ll be evening the odds for the tribes involved. And it’s not as though Procon doesn’t know we exist. They already trade with other planets. Just because they’re not our technological equals doesn’t mean they aren’t advanced.”

Kiti saw Audra hesitate before she answered. “I must confer with Darius before I can give you my answer.”

At that moment Darius came in accompanied by Garrick, Anton and Lara. The three men were in their Dragonera uniforms as was Kiti. The only differences being the color blocking. Darius and Garrick wore amethyst uniforms with cream colored sleeves, denoting their status as starship Captains. Darius’ uniform also had a cream colored stripe from the left shoulder to the waist, denoting that he was Captain of the Royal Guard. As a general in the Royal Army, Anton’s uniform was solid amethyst. Lara, Audra’s twin sister, still had the tanned skin from someone who’s spent too much time in the sun. She wore the House of Danexx royal colors like everyone else did. Hers were an amethyst jumpsuit and long cream colored duster. Kiti’s uniform was solid cream. Her rank as Tensign was denoted by a patch on her left arm.

“What do you need to discuss with me?” Darius asked as he took his wife’s arm and helped her to rise from the couch. She gave him a quick kiss. Darius rubbed her stomach then bent and said, “Hello, my children. Are you being nice to your mommy today?”

Kiti swore he expected an answer.

“If you don’t quit that people are going to think you’re crazy,” said Audra.

Darius laughed and kissed her belly.

“I am. Crazy in love with my wife.”

Lara made gagging sounds. ‘Will you two remember that you have an audience?”

“All right. But you and Anton are just as bad as we are.” Darius said to his soon to be twice over sister-in-law.”
“Never,” retorted Lara. “No one is as over the moons as you two.

“I don’t know, I’m pretty much over the moons about you,” said Anton waggling his eyebrows at her.

The banter was not aimed at Kiti. She didn’t think the two couples even remembered they were not alone. Kiti glanced at Garrick, who rolled his eyes at her. “Audra, the mission.” She reminded her queen tapping her wrist to hurry her.

“Oh yes. Darius, Kiti has requested to be assigned to go with Garrick to Procon, to apprehend Lord Tybold. I told her I would discuss it with you.”

“I don’t know if she will be needed,” Darius responded.

Garrick spoke for the first time since entering the room. “I think an anthropologist would be very useful on this particular mission. Tensign Dolana would be a definite asset to me in bringing in Tybold.”

“Thank you, Garrick. “ Kiti was warmed by his words and agreed with him one hundred percent. To her way of thinking, this mission would only succeed with her help. No one could understand the Proconians better than she could.

“Very well,” said Darius. “You will receive your orders tomorrow. In the mean time, can we eat dinner? I’m a starving man.”

Find Cynthia's website at:
Follow her on Twitter:  @cynthiawoolf

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Judi McCoy, Romance Author, Rest in Peace

Judi McCoy was scheduled to autograph her books with a bunch of us at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire in Arizona, the first weekend of February, as she has done for the past many years. We always rejoiced at her presence, enjoyed her humor, and looked forward to the informative workshop she would give after the event, for the members of the Valley of the Sun Romance Writers, of which she remained a member, despite living in Virginia.

When we learned last fall that she was in the hospital in a diabetic coma, we still hoped. Then it became obvious that she would not join us for the Chocolate Affaire this year. At the event, we all signed a huge get well card for her, wishing her a successful recovery, and telling her how much we missed her at this traditional event of romance and chocolate.

For there was no one like Judi to write romantic comedies. She even included many four-legged characters, and her dog walker series was a smashing success. Hounding the Pavement became such a hit that television wanted to make a series of it. Not only Judi liked dogs, but she rescued them and adopted a few mistreated mutts to give them a loving home.

We shall miss you, Judi, and I hope that there are lots of pooches in the great beyond where you still write the kind of romantic comedies that steal our hearts.

Rest in Peace.

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

Monday, February 13, 2012

Noah's Ark, the prequel to the Chronicles of Kassouk - by Vijaya Schartz

After my readers asked me so many times to write this prequel to the CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK, it's finally coming out from Desert Breeze Publishing on April 1, 2012.

This novel is the story of the first humans to crash-land on New Earth, centuries before the beginning of the Chronicles of Kassouk series. If you enter a comment with your email address, you will be entered to win a pdf copy of this novel on the release day, April 1, 2012.

Here is what the story is about:

When Trixie's starfreighter, Noah's Ark, drops out of jump space in an uncharted part of the universe, she believes the M-class planet on her viewer represents hope and salvation for her motley crew and the ragtag settlers aboard her ship.

Kostas, ex Space Marine, the expert survivalist recruited for this expedition, doesn't believe in coincidences, and knows that when something looks too good to be true... it usually is.

Everyone, on this voyage to seed a new planet, is fleeing something, and harbors dangerous secrets... including Trixie, who vowed to never let a man control her life again. As for Kostas, he would get lynched on the spot if anyone suspected who he really is.

But on this seemingly abandoned planet, others are watching, herding the newcomers for evil purposes... and when the truth emerges and secrets unravel, Trixie and Kostas will have to fight for their very lives, for freedom, and for the right to love...

The cover is not available yet, but I will post is here as soon as I have it from the publisher. Leave a comment with your email address to be entered to win. Someone is going to win this romantic science fiction novel, it might as well be you.

Since this is the prequel, the story of the beginning, it come before the series. For the rest of the series, the human community of Kassouk struggles for freedom and the right to technology, under the control of the all powerful Godds and their hybrid children, the Mutants.

Here are the following books in the series in the right order:


Find Vijaya's titles and more on Amazon, at B&N, as well as at ARe and other eBook retailers (links at the top right of this page). Or click on the top banner covers to download them from

Happy Readings.

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My weekend at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire - by Vijaya Schartz

Each year, on the first weekend of February, for the past twenty years or so, the City of Glendale sponsors the world renowned Chocolate Affaire, a festival of chocolate and romance, with music, art, food vendors, carriage rides through the Historic District, and many other attractions. And, of course, lots and lots of chocolate. Even chocolate pizza.

The local romance authors are invited each year to display and autograph their books, since romance and chocolate go hand in hand. I've been signing my novels at this event since my first book came out in 2000.

The Cerreta Chocolate and Candy Factory in Glendale is one of the sponsors, and they are always friendly to us authors. Each year I go home with a basket of candy, fudge, and chocolate. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Cerreta.

This year, we even had the famous Romance Cover Model Jimmy Thomas, who showed off his gorgeous physique and graciously let visitors take pictures of him and with him for free. He will also participate in the ARIZONA DREAMIN' Romance Readers Convention in Phoenix the first weekend of June. Don't miss this if you love to read romance.

With my paperbacks now mostly out of print, I still get to participate and sign rare copies of my books. I thoroughly enjoy talking to loyal readers, who, year after year, come to chat and ask me about my next releases.

For those who still do not read electronic books, I was happy to announce the release this spring of WHITE TIGER, the first book in the CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK series, for the first time in paperback from Desert Breeze Publishing. I'm very excited about this upcoming release. It's been a while since one of my titles came out in print.

But nowadays, we chat a lot with the readers about eBooks. It's amazing how this year most readers I asked did own a kindle, a nook, or an ipad. And those who didn't have one still read eBooks on their phone or on their computer. And the rest mostly said they hadn't made the switch to eBooks yet, but were thinking about it.

This is great news for us authors who already committed to the future of books. EBooks are here to stay, and the proof is in the pudding.

Wishing you all good health, happiness and success.

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

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