Monday, February 5, 2024

Science fiction needs a hint of romance

 

Find these and more on my BWL page HERE

My love of science fiction started early, when I read DUNE by Frank Herbert. But I always found that these books were written by men and for men. They relied heavily on the technical aspect, and they portrayed male protagonists, with very few female characters. Even the new movie versions of Star Trek are still men-oriented. Star Wars made progress with the last trilogy with Rey as a female Jedi, and more females in the new Disney series. It's about time.

   

As an avid reader, I scoured the library for sci-fi and fantasy novels by female writers, like Ann McCaffrey (Dragon of Pern series), and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Then, I discovered the Dock 5 series, by Linnea Sinclair, the undisputed queen of Sci-fi with romantic elements. Linnea’s books even had cat-like animals called furzells. Her stories contained plenty of action, strong women characters as ship captains, and they navigated the stars, making no apologies. I had found my niche.

This kind of science fiction written by women does not focus on the engineering of the spaceship, or the weapons, nor does it explain how people traverse intergalactic distances. It is set in a future where space travel technology exists and is commonplace, where man has met alien cultures and spread throughout the universe... like in Star Wars or Star Trek.

So, when I decided to write, I wrote what I love, space adventure with strong women as protagonists. Of course, there are brave heroes, and often cats in my stories as well. Write what you know, right?

As for the angels in my books, they are a select group of gifted people with supernatural talents, in charge of keeping the balance of good and evil in the universe. This said, they are still people, with a body and a heart.



The Blue Phantom glows like a beacon in black space, appears and vanishes, and never registers on scanners. Rumors say it will save the righteous, the oppressed, and the downtrodden… and slay the unworthy without mercy. The space pirates fear it. Their victims pray for it… but its help comes at a price…

Vijaya Schartz, award-winning author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
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Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Is there an "X" conspiracy? The signs are here. What do they mean?

 

Find these and many other novels of mine on the BWL site HERE

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, only a curious writer, whose creative mind notices clues and patterns. I’m always looking for fresh angles and new stories everywhere, and lately, I can’t help but notice the proliferation of “X” in everyday American lives. Is the X part of a secret equation? X = ?

 

It started years ago with the “X” Files, “The truth is out there.” Ominous, but not so far from reality, since in recent years, many governments around the world have opened up about an alien presence in our skies, and a few even claim to have reverse-engineered some alien technology.

As a result, more and more NASA and other astronauts, as well as Air Force and commercial pilots, are opening up about what they saw in space and in our skies. The US government finally admitted to the existence of Area 51, and briefed Congress about UAPs (Unexplained Aerial Phenomena), in 2023, in a secret session, which somehow leaked to the press, and contained military footage of UFO encounters.

Recently, we’ve seen Twitter become “X” under Elon Musk’s new ownership. Why? The symbol is ugly and gives me the shudders. Not a very good marketing move. The man also owns SPACE”X”. Is he signaling that Generation X is taking over the reins of technology? Or is there an X-File alien technology connection? Musk has also been accused of endorsing antisemitic posts on X, causing many advertisers to leave the platform. X was also accused of favoring white supremacist groups. Coincidence?
  


Many other companies in recent ads are prominently displaying the “X” factor. From pharmaceutical labs, AnolonX, AreXvy, or media companies like “X”finity internet or manufacturers like the X-chair, and TV shows like the X-Files and the UneXplained.



Celebrity X cruises displays an X that is not part of their name. When the public suggested it meant X-rated cruises for adults, their official rebuttal was: The big “X” on the funnel of the cruise ships represents the Greek letter chi for “Chandris.” Maybe it does… then again… maybe it means something else.


Conspiracy X is an RPG (Role Playing Game) based upon a secret invasion of Earth by aliens insidiously taking over the world. It is set in a world of dark secrets and hidden agendas where nothing is what it seems.


According to others, Disease X is the next pandemic.

Are we facing a new generation of X-men identifying themselves to each other? Or is there a secret “X” society manipulating governments toward an unknown destiny? It wouldn’t be so farfetched, since secret societies have been running the world from the shadows for millennia.

I guess we will find out… eventually, if we live long enough. In the meantime, I’ll keep watching for clues.  

My novels are full of intergalactic conspiracies, villains, strong heroines, brave heroes, and cats. Find them here:






Happy reading!

Vijaya Schartz, award-winning author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
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Sunday, December 24, 2023

Happy Holidays!

 


This my 8-year-old rescue cat Pasha. It's his first Christmas with me, and he really enjoys the Christmas tree... maybe a little too much.


Pasha and I wish everyone a happy holiday season, and the very best of year in 2024. 


Peace, Love, Harmony all around.


Vijaya

Monday, December 4, 2023

From Samurai Bounty Hunter to Egyptian Goddess - creating new stories and characters in the Azura Universe

 

Find this book and more
on my BWL page HERE

The Azura Universe is vast and varied. I have been writing stories in it for several years now, over different series. From the Azura Chronicles set on the angel planet, to the Byzantium series set on a space station, and now the Blue Phantom series, featuring the crew of an angel ship. I truly enjoy writing this universe. It’s filled with Humans, alien races, powerful angels, AIs, Cyborg, formidable crime lords, evil sects, power-hungry rulers, bounty hunters, demons, demi-gods, and often big cats with mind-reading abilities.

In all of these novels, you will find strong heroines, brave heroes, and lots of action and adventure, with a little romance for good measure. I write to entertain, and you can trust me to give my stories a happy conclusion no matter what kind of hell my characters have to go through to find their happily ever after.

All my science fiction novels in each series can stand alone, and I like to give each of them a different flair. I sometimes find inspiration in various legends and mythologies of ancient cultures throughout the world, from India to Japan, to the middle east. In Angel Guardian, the latest release, my villainess is Azfet, the Egyptian Goddess of chaos, who has crossed over from another universe.

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But now is the time to plot ANGEL REVENGE, Book 3 in the Blue Phantom series. And this time, my heroine is the one coming from a semi-familiar mythology. A strong warrior woman, a green-eyed beauty, flying over the battlefield on the wings of a genetically enhanced tiger. That’s all I will say. You’ll have to wait until next fall to read her story.

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In the meantime, you can read the previous books in this universe, some of which won literary awards, and all of which gathered rave reviews. Happy reading!

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Vijaya Schartz, award-winning author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats


Monday, November 6, 2023

The scourge of Identity Theft is upon us all!

 Although I write fiction, I have to say reality can sometimes be more incredible than angels and demons and other supernatural creatures found in my books.

It all started with a strange transaction on my Paypal account. $34.00 were taken out to an unfamiliar bank, then placed back into my account. Weird, but no harm done. Probably a mistake from Paypal. Still, I messaged Paypal on the site to contest the transaction.

Two days later, I jumped as I noticed a large balance in my checking account. Someone was moving money around, transferring all my savings into my checking, including a very large cash advance from my credit card.

I took out my phone to call the bank, only to discover that my phone refused to let me dial out. PANIC!

Then, large cash withdrawals were happening on my retirement account. WHAT? Unable to call, I sent an online message to contest the transactions, but got a message back that they were busy and to expect delays.

The next day, all my IRA rollover shares had been sold and the entire balance in my account was on its way out to an unknown bank account, being processed. Still no phone, and no one to talk to, except sending a message on the site.

Of course, it was the weekend. On Monday, I went to my bank and spoke to a fraud agent. Someone had also requested a personal loan in my name. My bank filed a claim and froze all my accounts and opened new ones. Told me to file a police report and change all my passwords.

I had my phone checked. They couldn't figure out what was wrong with it, but it wouldn't dial out. Stranger and stranger. They replaced the Sim card. Now it works fine.

I called my retirement account firm, and they stopped the cash transfer and locked my account... just in the nick of time. They gave me a list of places to go and people to call, including IDtheft.gov, and the credit bureaus, etc. They also asked me to have my laptop and my phone cleaned, which I did. I learned that my phone was probably hacked first, to prevent me from reporting the fraud in time.

The worse was averted. I could sleep again. But now wherever I go online, I have to deal with proving my identity as without all the cookies my familiar sites do not recognize me. I have to reset all my bill payments, all my automatic deposits and more...

It has been a maddening two weeks, and I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was fortunate. My bank was curious on how I spotted the fraud so quickly. I check the balance on all my bank accounts online every morning, as part of my daily routine. Had I not done that, I would be on the street today. 

Now I can start writing again, with a clean computer and a clear mind. I'm working on the next book in the BLUE PHANTOM series, to be released next year. In the meantime, you can read the two first books: 


Desperate to save her people from the Marauders swarming her space freighter, Kefira prays for a miracle. Blake Volkov, legendary captain of the Blue Phantom hears her plea and deems her and her refugees worthy of his help. Grateful for the rescue, Kefira finds his price shocking. But despite his glowing wings, handsome looks and impressive abilities, Blake admits he is no angel… although Kefira’s feline bodyguard strongly disagrees.

Meanwhile, an old enemy bent on revenge unleashed an unspeakable evil on the galaxy. Time to face past mistakes… time for innocent blood to flow. Nothing prepared Kefira for the upheaval ahead.

Can Blake find redemption? Can Kefira save her people? Can she ever trust and love again?

ANGEL GUARDIAN - Book 2 amazon B&N - Smashwords - Kobo

Desperate to escape the frozen labor planet to complete his crucial mission, Kal wishes he could remember his orders, who he worked for, or who he was before his memory wipe.

On her first solo assignment to rescue a foreign angel, Indra discovers that, despite her impeccable training, she is not warrior material. She cares too much to follow orders. Her life turns upside down when the captain of the Blue Phantom assigns her a spirited, telepathic feline named Panthera.

But a new kind of evil threatens to subjugate the galaxy, and it came on the wings of the rescued angel. Torn between duty, and what she thinks is right, will Indra dare to violate angel rule? If she’s wrong, and Kal is an agent of evil, it could plunge the entire galaxy into eternal torment.


Vijaya Schartz, award-winning author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
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Monday, October 2, 2023

ANGEL GUARDIAN - Book 2 of the Blue Phantom sci-fi series, is officially out!

 

Are Alien Angels watching?

There is a rumor that the forces of good are constantly protecting us from unspeakable evil, demon hordes, tyrannical galactic leaders, and unseen entities threatening to ravage unsuspecting planets.

Most believe these powerful angels are the stuff of legends… until they meet one.

ANGEL GUARDIAN, Book 2 in the Blue Phantom series, is the story of one such angel, who doesn’t remember who or what he is, or what he is supposed to accomplish. Deep inside, he believes he must carry on an important mission, but what is it?

The heroine is also an angel, but regrets her decision of becoming one. She enlisted to save her people, but she is not adapting well to the disciplined military lifestyle required of the crew of the angel ship Blue Phantom. She misses her family.





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In the Azura universe, the angels are luminous beings, humanoids or AIs, with retractable wings. They have powers of telepathy, teleportation, invisibility, and superhuman strength. They wield angel weapons driven by blue crystal technology. They report only to the “Formless One” and are tasked with keeping the balance of good and evil in the universe. These benevolent angels also do their best to protect the innocent from terrible calamities. 


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ANGEL GUARDIAN starts on the frozen world of Laxxar, a forced labor planet using slaves to mine salt. It was mentioned in the previous books mainly as a swearing expression “By the Frozen hells of Laxxar!”

This novel also introduces the Pandemonium Space Station, a moving den of iniquity harboring the scum of the universe, and ruled by a cyborg crime lord. Genetically enhanced big cats are trained to kill in the arena for the games, and publicly execute those condemned to death. The animals are kept in terrible conditions in cages. They can only feed on their victims. Two of these telepathic felines play an important role in this story as well.

As for the villainess of this novel, her name is Azfet, the ancient Egyptian goddess of chaos, the only survivor of her race, and she is determined to enslave this galaxy to reign supreme and be worshiped like the gods of old.

ANGEL GUARDIAN can stand alone, like all the other novels set in the Azura universe, (Azura Chronicles series, Byzantium Space Station series, Blue Phantom series). But if you are like me, you’ll want to read all the other books in these series as well:

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Happy Reading!


Vijaya Schartz, award-winning author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
amazon B&N - Smashwords - Kobo FB