Saturday, December 24, 2016

Free for the holidays PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE

Yay! free in kindle for the holidays
PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 1
Medieval Fantasy Romance


"The story is filled with action and danger and there are many interesting secondary characters that help drive the plot forward. I particularly like Gwenvael, Pressine's brother." Romance Junkies.  





Also #99cts for a few days:

PAGAN QUEEN
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 2

A few other titles may still be discounted, but hurry, don't miss it!  Find them all in kindle Here:




Vijaya Schartz
 Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
 Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Sunday, December 18, 2016

99cts Holiday discount galore on sci-fi romance!

99cts holiday discount galore on sci-fi romance - Yay!

ALIEN LOCKDOWN,
 99cts in kindle on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00495XUT0


 The year is 3033, and deep in the bowels of the underground galactic prison, something has gone terribly wrong. Rhonda Alendresis never wanted this prison job. When the civilians vanish and an earthquake damages the nuclear reactor, she must go down to repair it with Captain Perfect himself, Cole Riggeur, who always plays by the rules and never trusted a woman in his life. But deep in the underground penitentiary, the most wicked convicts in the Galaxy are loose, and a treacherous shape-shifter plans his revenge. Disconnected from the Garrison, against impossible odds, Cole and Rhonda now face their greatest challenge... trusting each other in order to survive.


RELICS, 
Ancient Enemy Book 2
99cts in kindle now at:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GNECGK 

The year is 2023, and an alien invader has infiltrated the human race. In a dangerous future threatened by aliens and infiltrated by hybrids, archeologist Celene Dupres witnesses her father's murder. Vowing to avenge him and retrieve his precious alien relics, she finds the perfect ally and protector. But the man she trusts, the man with whom she is falling in love, is the secret agent sent to kill her. Kin, however is more than a killing machine. Despite his love for Celene, can he accomplish his gruesome mission, and save humanity from the threat embedded in her DNA?

"RELICS is an intense thrill ride of a futuristic romance; I highly recommend it." Marlene Breakfield - Paranormal Romance



 KICKING BOTS
Ancient Enemy Book 3
99cts in kindle at:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004NEW1HO




Dr. Melissa Campbell, researcher at the San Francisco Center for Disease Control, requests help to protect her precious vaccine, one that could end the deadly alien plague. She didn't expect a crazy renegade like Bennett for a bodyguard. She hates military types, and this genetically enhanced super-soldier is pure testosterone, hot-headed, quick-tempered, impulsive, and downright impossible. But these are dangerous times with riots in the streets, and rumors of alien invasion. In a breathless race against time, experience the decisive battle for humankind, one that will decide whether Earth belongs to humanity, or to a powerful alien race.

"Begins with a bang and keeps the fireworks coming. As much as Melissa and Bennett try to fight their feelings for each other, it is too strong for them to deny... but he cannot let that prevent him from doing his job.... Can they override their programming in time to save the human race? - Sensual Reads - 4.5 stars - Sultry


SNATCHED 
99cts in kindle now at:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004QZ9V78


Snatched from a post-apocalyptic battlefield by galactic traders, Zania is sold to a clandestine ring of fighting Amazons on a planet lush with green jungles and teeming with deadly felines. She resents the gorgeous and overzealous Viking champion, Svend, who saves her life but too easily accepts his slavery. Adulated by a woman who claims to know her, hated by the jealous Amazon queen who fancies Svend, Zania seeks escape... But Svend knows the price of rebellion. And on this seemingly peaceful planet, ruled and defended by machines, nothing is what it seems... Among the rumbles of a volcano threatening to explode, insurrection is brewing, and no one is safe...

"Action from the first page... ripe with hidden agendas, evil villains, toothy tigers, brave heroes, and cowardly sneaks.... exploding volcanoes... be swept away in an escapade of intense science fiction excitement." Coffee Time Romance


CHECKMATE
Archangel Book 2
99cts in kindle now at:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004KKY6CY


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004KKY6CY

to quench his vengeful lust for the Archangel who scattered his remains at the edge of the universe, the Reptilian ruler orders the sacrificial death of Michael's teenage daughter. Half human and a full fledged Archangel on his father's home world, Michael must return to Earth to save his daughter from fiendish claws, and his native planet from enslavement or worse... But the way home is fraught with dangers, some more insidious than others. Nothing prepared Michael for the kind of trial he must face, when his rambunctious past catches up with him at the worst possible time...

"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

Vijaya Schartz
 Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
 Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks -

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Curse of the Lost Isle series is now complete!

If you like strong ladies with powers, medieval history, castle life, heroic feats and romantic stories, you will love this series, featuring a family of immortal Fae, roaming the middle ages in search of redemption from a curse. Steeped in history and legend. "Edgy medieval, Yay!" 5 stars on Amazon

Find the entire series in kindle  HERE

With the last book, Angel of Lusignan, Book 8, now in pre-order, coming out in January, this series is now complete, and here is the list of all the titles:


Book 1 - PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE
Book 2 - PAGAN QUEEN
Book 3 - SEDUCING SIGEFROI
Book 4 - LADY OF LUXEMBOURG
Book 5 - CHATELAINE OF FOREZ
Book 6 - BELOVED CRUSADER
Book 7 - DAMSEL OF THE HAWK
Book 8 - ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN
There is also a BOX-SET of the first four titles HERE

Available in kindle and most titles in paperback, with the rest coming soon in paper as well.
Vijaya Schartz
 Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
 Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks -

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I love the cover for ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN!

Yay! Angel of Lusignan has a cover, and I love it. 
Release date is January 20.
It will go on pre-order in kindle soon.

What do you think of the cover? 
 
This is Book 8 of the Curse of the Lost Isle #medieval #fantasy #romance #series 


Some books in the series stand alone, but this one ends the series and concludes the fate of Melusine the Fay, so you may want to catch up with the previous novels involving Melusine (Books 2-3-4-5). There is still time. 



Vijaya Schartz
 Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
 Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks -

Monday, November 28, 2016

Enter Contest to win ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN, coming soon

Coming soon:
ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 8
Last book in the series,
medieval fantasy romance

"Edgy medieval, Yay!" 5 stars series

See the entire series HERE


Enter your name to win a pdf copy by email: vijayaschartz1@cox.net
 
No cover yet, but check out the yummy hero and the heroine on the page.

Contest to win Vijaya's books & eBooks

Young knight Raymond of Forez, blaming himself for his uncle's death in a hunting accident, falls off his horse at the very sight of the lovely Melusine. He has no knowledge of their turbulent past. Even less that she is an immortal Fae with angel blood... afflicted by a curse. He doesn't believe in the local legends... yet how can he resist such beauty and loving wisdom?

Melusine, who waited for him in Aquitaine, is full of remembered love, but can she trust this young knight with her mission, or her deadly secrets? In this explosive religious climate, the Church is suspicious of everyone, and the slightest rumor of witchery or Pagan magic could send them both burning at the stake. Can their love overcome the curse this time?

HAPPY READING!

Vijaya Schartz
  Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
  http://www.vijayaschartz.com
  Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks -

Saturday, September 17, 2016

99cts CHECKMATE - gorgeous new covers!



Woohoo! 99cts in #kindle for a few days CHECKMATE (Archangel 2 - standalone) new cover and all. https://amzn.com/B004KKY6CY  

"Wickedly insightful. Grab this today along with the prequel,  Crusader." #5stars Curled up With a Good Book 
  https://amzn.com/B004HO69RS  

"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 

Vijaya Schartz
  Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
  http://www.vijayaschartz.com
  Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks -

Monday, August 29, 2016

What to write next?

The Curse of the Lost Isle, a romantic medieval fantasy series, was twenty years in the making and is coming to a close. Of course, I wrote many other novels for various publishers in multiple genres during that time, since that series did not find a publisher right away, and required a great amount of historical research. As I am writing the last novel, Book eight, Angel of Lusignan, scheduled for release around the holidays, I realize with nostalgia that it has been a long labor of love. I’m going to miss living in that world.

As to what comes next, I’m still debating. I like writing in different genres and I have a habit of mixing them, which creates marketing nightmares for my publishers. But I like my stories to be original, different and unique. I write what I would want to read. In the Curse of the Lost Isle (from BWL), featuring a family of immortal ladies with Fae gifts, I mixed authentic legends with known history and romance. In the Chronicles of Kassouk and in the Borealis series (from Desert Breeze Publishing), I mixed science fiction with romance, and several of my characters have paranormal abilities… sometimes created through technology. 
 


I also wrote a few contemporary romances, but always with a twist, like reincarnation, a shape shifter, or a thriller element. Whether writing about the past, the present, or the future, my main constants are action, adventure, and romance. I also have a predilection for cats, as they pop up as secondary characters almost everywhere (except in medieval times, but I do have a major dog character in Damsel of the Hawk).

I would also like my next project to be a series. Like a reader, after I fall in love with a created world, I enjoy spending time in it. But I may choose to make these series shorter. Maybe three or four books, not six or eight like in my two latest series. It’s difficult to promote Book seven or eight to new readers who haven’t read any of the other books… even if it’s a standalone. 
 
Standalone is another requisite of mine. I like my series to be readable out of order, so each book should be a complete story as much as possible. As a reader, I hate cliffhanger endings and would never do that to my readers. I had to cut longer books into two parts before, not by choice, and although I still gave the first book a satisfying ending, I couldn’t tie up all the loose ends or resolve all the conflicts at the end, since that happened in the second book. It deeply bothered me. From the reviews, I know it bothered a few of my readers as well. 
           

Now, for the time and place: Medieval? Futuristic? Contemporary? Post apocalyptic? On a space station? On an alien planet? In an alternate universe? I have used all of these in the past. Is there any other option?

As for the characters, I have a predilection for strong, kick-butt heroines. I also really enjoyed writing immortals. I once flirted with the idea of writing a series featuring angels, and I am still considering it. They could be fallen angels seeking redemption, or guardians of the human kind. Or, they could be aliens, alien/human hybrids, or AI (artificial intelligence), but I already featured a synthetic being in Black Dragon (Borealis series).

So, my new writing project should definitely be a series with strong heroines, romance, action, adventure, and cats (you can never have too many of those). Each novel should be a complete story, and the series should lend itself to a different hero and heroine for each story. So, the constant would be the world in which the characters evolve.
 
In other words, writing a series revolves around creating a world in which strong, captivating characters can fight for what is just and good, and in the process, find their happily ever after. Writing this post helped me order my thoughts. Starting next year, look for the start of a new sci-fi romance series involving strong kick-butt heroines and gorgeous aliens with angel power. Now, back to finishing the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval series. 
 
Vijaya Schartz
  Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
  http://www.vijayaschartz.com
  Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Monday, August 22, 2016

PAGAN QUEEN is 99cts in kindle for a few days!

Yay! PAGAN QUEEN is 99cts in kindle for a few days only, hurry.
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 2
5-star medieval fantasy romance series

"the author makes that long ago era of history feel alive and vibrant. She's able to weave in the mystical in a manner that appears natural, without overwhelming what else is going on... character flaws are eye-opening... watch for interesting twists and turns... unexpected happenings totally caught me off guard." Romance Junkies

Vijaya Schartz
  Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
  http://www.vijayaschartz.com
  Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks -

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Building Medieval castles for the Curse of the Lost Isle Series



Click here to get it in kindle
As I am writing the last book ind the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval series, ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN (Book 8) set in Aquitaine, I am thoroughly enjoying the research, as much as the story and the characters.

Start reading the series with the boxed set of the first four novels. Seven are already published, and the last one will be out for the holidays.

From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse. For centuries, imbued with hereditary gifts, they hide their deadly secret, stirring passions in their wake as they fight the Viking hordes, build mighty castles, send the first knights to the Holy Land, give birth to kings and emperors... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake. 5 stars on Amazon "Edgy Medieval. Yay!"


* * * * * 
In the Twelfth Century, castles sprouted all over Europe. In England the first castles were mainly built in a hurry, out of wood, by the Norman invader to secure conquered territory. They were motte and bailey castles, with a keep, earth works, wooden fences and sharp stakes. Later, the keep and walls were rebuilt in stone.






Meanwhile, on the continent, like in Aquitaine, castles were already made of stone. The Romans had built stone roads and forts centuries earlier, leaving solid foundations in prime locations. Just out of the dark ages after the barbarian invasions, the central power fractured into smaller estates, the local lords rebuilt and expanded these stone forts for protection. Not only they fortified their castles, but also their entire cities.




Medieval building technique. Notice the crane.


The new cities and castles were generally built on a promontory, a plateau or a hill, surrounded by water, at an estuary, a confluent, or on a cliff overlooking a river. A body of water protected the castle from attacks by land, but rivers could also be highways for enemies invading by boats. Occasional Viking and Norman raids were still common.



Fortified city and castle of Carcassonne - Southern Aquitaine

The lack of a strong central power also encouraged greedy land owners and bands of rogue knights to appropriate territory by force. Stone walls offered the best protection.





Building a castle was expensive and required a great amount of gold to pay the many skilled workers needed for the monumental task. A lord would hire a taskmaster, overseers, a master mason, architects, an army of masons and stone cutters, carpenters, blacksmiths, lead beaters, barrel makers, potters, candle makers, and other craftsmen. He also needed diggers and general workmen, as well as water carriers.





Castle of Lusignan - Aquitaine - Original design


First, the trees around the site would be felled and peeled, then sliced lengthwise to provide lumber for the scaffolding, and the giant beams to support the wooden ceiling of the upper floors. Meanwhile, the stone had to be extracted from the surrounding rock, then cut and chiseled to size. Often the stone was extracted from the excavation for the moat. Secret passages and underground storage rooms and cellars would often be dug from the rock before erecting the walls, with arched ceilings and thick columns to support the edifice above.



Arrow slit in a castle wall


And do not think castles were uncomfortable. Although the external defense walls only had arrow slits, the buildings inside the enclosure had windows to bring in the light. They also had amenities, like giant fireplaces to provide heat during the winter, large kitchens with bread ovens, to cook for hundreds of soldiers, and skilled chefs to prepare meals and special feasts for the nobles. There was wine and cheese aplenty in the cellars.




medieval toilet - or garderobe


The castle even had toilets called garderobe, simple sitting holes at the outer side of the wall, allowing automatic disposal of human waste straight down into the moat or the river below, which conveniently eliminated odors.




Castle of Tiffauge - Aquitaine - France


Also important to the castle was a permanent source of fresh water, so if there was no natural spring on the premises, digging a well would constitute a first priority. In case of a siege, the castle must be self-sufficient.




Mock up - castle of Lusignan - Aquitaine - France


A great castle would include several courtyards, including one for weapon practice. Also inside the walls would be stables for the horses, a barn for the hay, barracks for the guards and soldiers, sheds and work places for the artisans, blacksmiths, etc. The kitchens would have their own buildings and storage rooms.




Castle of Lusignan - Aquitaine - France


Very few of these early stone castles have survived a thousand years of warfare, and those that did survive were updated and modified over the centuries, but we have lithographs and drawings, as well as mock ups to show us what the original construction looked like.


Vijaya Schartz
Swords, blasters, romance with a kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

STAR TREK BEYOND movie review by Vijaya Schartz



Three years into the five year voyage of exploration, the Enterprise docks onto one of the federation's space stations and we get a taste of what this space station looks like. These scenes were filmed in Dubai, which lends its architecture to futuristic movies. What I found fascinating was the way the tall buildings all pointed to the center of the artificial open sphere, and how at the top the unreliable gravity played tricks on the unwary. Logical, but fascinating nevertheless.



The inciting incident is weak. The damsel in distress begging the federation to rescue her crew was obviously setting a trap. No responsible captain would have rushed without at least investigating. When Kirk said he guessed it was a trap early on, but not early enough, that was a gross understatement.


 
I liked that new female characters were given an important role. Love this new ally, who kicks butts and takes names, and I like the fact that at the end she plans to join Star Fleet. I hope we see her again.



The male villain had an interesting history, but not clearly explained. I won't spoil the story for you, but I don't understand what prompted his physical transformation. It lacked clarity and didn't seem to make much sense. Was he an alien from the start posing as a human? Or did something happen to him while he was on the alien planet?




Costumes, makeup and special effects were impeccable and breathtaking, as usual... even though I didn't see the movie in 3D.



I enjoyed the fact that the characters were made more human. Bones had a better presence than in the previous movie, and his character in opposition to Spok was funny and interesting, like in the original series, which is what I liked about him.



I enjoyed the motorcycle scene. Quite a stunt, and so fitting for Kirk. Only he would come up with such a dare-devil idea for a distraction.



I enjoyed seeing all the regular characters.




We also revisited an old federation ship

It was somewhat sad to see Chekov again played by Anton Yelchin, who was killed by his own car in his driveway when the parking brake failed. it happened shortly before the movie release. Rumor has it that his role will not be recast in future movies.


R.I.P. Anton Yelchin - here in the role of Chekov

As for Uhura, her love affair with Spok is still going strong. And on a different note, we learn in this movie that Mr. Sulu is gay. Possibly a wink to the original Mr. Sulu, George Takei.



How many times and in how many ways can we destroy the Enterprise? This seems to be the recurring theme on all Star Trek movies. This time in particular, I can't see how they could have possibly salvaged anything after the destruction, or retrieved any of the pieces. Yet, curiously enough, at the end of the movie, somewhat by magic, the ship is restored to its pristine state... ready for the next adventure.

I enjoyed the movie. Hope you do, too.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
Website: http://www.vijayaschartz.com

Monday, July 25, 2016

DAMSEL OF THE HAWK 99cts in kindle!

For the first time and only for a few days, hurry. 
99cts in kindle
DAMSEL OF THE HAWK,
5-star Curse of the Lost Isle series, standalone, medieval fantasy romance. Only for a few days...   
https://amzn.com/B01CH93SNM 

"...so vivid I could picture myself right there... tough, honorable alpha hero... fiercely protective and loyal mountain dog, Kopec... Meliora... hints of the strong, rebellious woman she actually is... not a simple HEA for them... but once they finally get it, it's wonderful!" Amazon  also in paperback


HAPPY READING

Vijaya Schartz
  Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
  http://www.vijayaschartz.com
  Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks -

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The best TARZAN movie so far!


Surprisingly good movie on an old theme. This story doesn't address the well known legend itself, but takes place later, after Tarzan and Jane have married and live in England among the nobility, and Jane is pregnant. The backstory comes up in skillfully handled flashbacks and does not distract from the story at hand, but adds to its intensity, like the friendship with his ape brother, who perceived his leaving the tribe as a betrayal.

I love it when writers and movie makers strive for excellence, and they surpassed themselves in this production. The character is believable both as an English Lord and as a wild man. Equally at ease with gentry as he is with apes. He also looks the part, with pale skin and the northern European physique. They have gone as far as thickening the muscles of his hands from walking on all four as a child on his front knuckles, like apes do.


But most of all, this Tarzan has the true spirit of the character, fiercely protective of those he loves. A true alpha hero with a sense of justice in troubled times in the persecuted world of Belgian Congo. He understands intrigues and politics and fights for justice and the well being of a country in need of help.


I especially liked the details about the historical period. King Leopold of Belgium is exploiting his colony for cacao (chocolate) as demonstrated by the inscriptions on cargo items being loaded on the ships. He also traffics slaves, and is in search of secret diamond mines to pay his enormous debt and buy mercenaries to "pacify" the land.


The villains in this story are twofold. One is a ruthless Belgian secret service agent, and the other a local chief, both with reasons to capture Tarzan. One to use him, the other to kill him... because Tarzan killed his only son long ago. Later we learn that the son hunted and killed Tarzan's ape mother.


There is also the love story, of course, and it is made very believable. We can relate to Jane's feeling for Tarzan and his feelings for her. What they have is true love, and it was since the moment they first met, when Tarzan saved Jane's life and almost died in the process. Then she nursed him to recovery... all shown in flashbacks.


So, if you like adventure historical stories with a lot of action, adventure, and a sense of justice, by all means, go see THE LEGEND OF TARZAN 2, and you won't be disappointed.

Happy viewing!

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick

Monday, July 4, 2016

INDEPENDENCE DAY 2 - Not as good as the original


I found this installment high in special effects, but low in characterization and with a serious lack of attitude.

Among the best special effects, a UFO landing on the ocean creating a tsunami

What had made the first movie so dramatic and endearing was the variety of characters, their colorful past, and most of all, their indomitable determination to overcome impossible odds. They made us laugh and cry and feel at the deepest level. Not so for this resurgence. I didn't laugh or shed one single tear.

The African Warlord skilled with the machete, could have made a great character, but he wasn't developed enough.
In this sequel, fifteen years later, the new generation is taking over. They have been preparing for the return of the alien invader, and they have big shoes to fill. Because of their youth and inexperience, however, they come across rather flat, with no zest, no attitude, no rebellion, and very little initiative. They simply obey orders like good little soldiers with a bunch of cool toys. Their elders from the original movie, those who are still around in this sequel, have aged and lost their aura. It seems this entire world has evolved into boredom.

The new crew has big shoes to fill.


The aliens are still cool. They even have a few live ones locked up in Area 51

Even the dialogue has no memorable lines like "I ain't heard no fat lady sing!" I can't even tell a friend who saw the movie "Oh, and you remember the scene where..." Nope. Nothing memorable that grabs your gut. Only cool special effects.

Personalized posters for release in each city
shows that city being destroyed

The plot devices also seemed a little overused. The appearance of the probe at the beginning was very intriguing at first, but the reveal at the end was a complete let down. The same device was used in many other science fiction movies and TV shows. I will not spoil it for you by spelling it out, but this entire production suffers from a total lack of originality.

Apparently there should be another sequel coming next year, Independence Forever. I certainly hope it redeems this one.

As for me, I just want to see the first movie again. Here are a few reminders of what made the original movie so great:

The daredevils on a suicide mission, who laughed in the face of death

The drunken veteran pilot crop duster with a big heart who makes the ultimate sacrifice in the end
The human drama

The smart women - many more than shown here

I definitely missed Will Smith, playing the crazy SOB who lugged an enormous alien body through the desert, wrapped in his parachute, cussing all the way and kicking it once in a while for good measure. I think the actors in the new movie weren't allowed to express their greatness, locked into a mediocre story with mediocre dialogues, and that's too bad.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com