Monday, June 6, 2016

The story behind the CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE series

Vouvant walls - Postern gate
As I start writing the last book (#8) in the Curse of the Lost Isle series, I realize this project has been twenty years in the making. Twenty years? Where did the time go?

That summer of 1996, I was vacationing in my mother's village, in western France, a tiny place named Vouvant, voted one of the most beautiful villages in France. As I walked through the local museum, a silver and blue tapestry in a special exhibit piqued my curiosity. The scene of a noble wedding between Melusine the Fae and Sigefroi of Ardennes, first Count of Luxembourg. I did a double take. The date on the label: 963 AD.

You see, in Vouvant, Melusine the Fae is the local celebrity. Cursed since childhood to become a mermaid on certain days, she nevertheless married knight Raymond of Forez, with whom she started the famous and infamous family of Lusignan. Among her descendants are Eleanor of Aquitaine, Guy de Lusignan, Robert of Lusignan (Kings of Jerusalem and Cyprus) even King Richard the Lionheart. She built fortresses to protect the entire region and is said to have built the castle of Vouvant with the tower that bears her name in one night... to protect the village against invaders... but that was in the late eleventh or early twelfth century. So how could she be in Luxembourg in 963, even less marrying its founder, Count Sigefroi?

I could never resist a mystery, so I started digging. I went from local castles to museums, asking questions, visiting libraries, finding old accounts of ancient legends, translations and studies of medieval myths, gathering historical details. To my great surprise, Melusine the Fae appeared at different times in history in different places in Europe, with a similar curse and a different story. First in Luxembourg, then in Forez, and later in Lusignan near Vouvant.


I learned that her mother was Pressine the Fae, who married King Elinas of Alba (ancient Scotland) during the Viking invasions in the early 800s. Melusine also had two sisters, Palatina and Meliora. All of them cursed for abusing their powers in childhood. The only problem was, their story spanned too many centuries. From their birth in the 800s in Scotland during the first Viking invasions, all the way to the Crusades in the 1200s.


Melusine, Castle of Lusignan
The early accounts of the legends, written in the 1300s and the 1400s varied greatly. I found genealogies, scholarly studies of the myths, and a host of historical facts. The writer in me saw an opportunity. A series... a family of Fae... persecuted for their powers, roaming the medieval world in search of redemption from a curse... and they had to be immortal!

I wasn't published yet, but I had three manuscripts with an agent. When I returned home to Arizona, I told my agent about my idea and she gave me her blessing with great enthusiasm. So I started writing.

My agent shopped the idea for the series. No one wanted to hear about it. It was a mix of several genres, historical, fantasy, and romance. I didn't have a following to guarantee booming sales. No one wanted to take a chance on such a series... especially from an unknown author.


Melusine's tower in vouvant still stands today
In 2000, my first contemporary novel came out, then two science fiction novels. Many other sci-fi and romance novels followed with various publishers, but still no interest in my immortal ladies. My agent retired. I kept pitching the series to other agents and publishers. No dice. I put them on the back burner but kept writing and researching in my spare time. Over the next ten years, each trip back to Europe became an opportunity to research a different location where the legends occurred.

In 2010, I signed up with Books We Love Ltd, a Canadian publisher who was reissuing my back list of out of print books. They liked my writing and asked me if I had any original works for them to publish. I sent them the first book of my immortal ladies and they loved it. The rest is history. Seven books are now published in the Curse of the Lost Isle series. The latest, DAMSEL OF THE HAWK (the story of Meliora) came out last month, and I'm just starting the very last novel in the series, ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN, which should come out in December or January.

It boggles the mind that this series has been my obsession for the past twenty years. I hope the readers enjoy the experience I created for them. I'm going to miss these wonderful characters when I write "the end" on this last novel.


DAMSEL OF THE HAWK
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 7
in kindle and paperback: https://amzn.com/B01CH93SNM

1204 AD - Meliora, the legendary damsel of Hawk Castle, grants gold and wishes on Mount Ararat, but must forever remain chaste. When Spartak, a Kipchak warrior gravely wounded in Constantinople, requests sanctuary, she breaks the rule to save his life. The fierce, warrior prince stirs in her forbidden passions. Captivated, Spartak will not bow to superstition. Despite tribal opposition, he wants her as his queen. Should Meliora renounce true love, or  embrace it and trigger the sinister curse... and the wrath of the Goddess? Meanwhile, a thwarted knight and his greedy band of Crusaders have vowed to steal her Pagan gold and burn her at the stake...


The complete Curse of the Lost Isle series includes:
Book 1 - PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE (early story of Pressine)
Book 2 - PAGAN QUEEN (later story of Pressine) still 99cts?
Book 3 - SEDUCING SIGEGROI (early story of Melusine in Luxembourg) still 99cts?
Book 4 - LADY OF LUXEMBOURG (later story of Melusine in Luxembourg)
Book 5 - CHATELAINE OF FOREZ (story of Melusine in Forez)
Book 6 - BELOVED CRUSADER (story of Palatina First Crusade)
Book 7 - DAMSEL OF THE HAWK (story of Meliora exiled in Turkey)
Book 8 - ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN (last story of Melusine late 2016 or early 2017)

There is also a boxed set of the first 4 novels in kindle for a friendly price. CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE boxed set

HAPPY READING!

Vijaya Schartz
http://www.vijayaschartz.com

Friday, June 3, 2016

99cts PAGAN QUEEN for a limited time

99cts in kindle for a few days only:
PAGAN QUEEN
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 2
https://amzn.com/B007Z8F7IA 
5-star medieval fantasy historical romance. 

810 AD - Alba (Ancient Scotland) -  Queen at last, Pressine brings victory to her beloved Elinas and prosperity to their growing kingdom. Still, she has to contend with the intrigues of Charlemagne's bishops, spurred by her Christian stepson. While Elinas, on the battlefield, remains unaware of his son’s machinations, Pressine fends off repeated assaults against her life. She also fears the curse that could bring her downfall. For the love of Elinas, she will tempt fate and become with child. But when her indomitable passion challenges the wrath of the Goddess Herself... can she win that battle?

"Schartz is an accomplished writer, whose pacing, conflicts, and goals are always complex and whose good characters are always likeable, and whose villains are evil incarnate. You have to like her villains as much as the good guys! Mattacks is a magnificent example of this!" Manic Readers

"...attention to the details of the period 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. I enjoyed learning more about Pressine and Elinas, but Mattacks and his diabolical plans play an important role... his character flaws are eye-opening... watch for interesting twists and turns... unexpected happenings totally caught me off guard... I want to know more..." Romance Junkies

Other books in the series:

Book 1 - PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE
Book 2 - PAGAN QUEEN (99cts)
Book 3 - SEDUCING SIGEFROI (still 99cts)
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 (Dec.2016)

There is also a boxed set of the first 4 novels in the series:
CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE

Happy reading! 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

99cts kindle countdown SEDUCING SIGEFROI

SEDUCING SIGEFROI
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 3
Medieval Fantasy Romance
by Vijaya Schartz

 Luxembourg - 963 AD - To offset the curse that makes her a serpent from the waist down one day each month, Melusine, exiled Princess of Strathclyde, must seduce and wed a mortal knight, the shrewd and ambitious Sigefroi of Ardennes.

Sigefroi, son of the Duke of Lorraine, suspects Melusine is not what she appears, but her beauty, her rich dowry, and her sharp political skills serve his ambitions. He never expected her to soften his stone-cold warrior heart.

So close to the Imperial court, dangers and intrigue threaten Melusine. War looms on the horizon, a Mermaid was sighted around Luxembourg, and Sigefroi’s bishop brother questions her ancestry. If anyone ever suspects Melusine’s true nature, she will burn at the stake...

"As always, Schartz spins a great story. It’s a bit bloody in places... But that's part of the drama, and Schartz certainly knows drama." Manic Readers 4.5 stars

"Ms. Schartz did a fine job with this offering, and brought elements to the myth that fleshed Melusine out and made her a sympathetic character. I think fans of Fantasy romance will enjoy this steamy version of the myth and fans of the myth might find it interesting as well." - Julianne Draper - The Examiner

The Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy romantic series includes:

Book 1 - PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE (Pressine's early story)
Book 2 - PAGAN QUEEN (Pressine's last story)
Book 3 - SEDUCING SIGEFROI (Melusine's early story)
Book 4 - LADY OF LUXEMBOURG (Melusine's later story)
Book 5 - CHATELAINE OF FOREZ (another Melusine story - standalone)
Book 6 - BELOVED CRUSADER) (Palatina's story - standalone)
Book 7 - DAMSEL OF THE HAWK (Meliora's story - standalone)
Book 8 - ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN (Melusine's last story, end of the series, winter 2016/2017)

There is also a boxed set of novels 1 through 4, CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE, for a very friendly price.
Find all my books HERE

HAPPY READING.
 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

99cts kindle countdown ASHES FOR THE ELEPHANT GOD

ASHES FOR THE ELEPHANT GOD
Reincarnation love story set in India
Contempory/historical/paranormal
by Vijaya Schartz

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

To scatter her brother's ashes over the Narmada River, Fabienne leaves France for the mysterious India of her childhood dreams. As she awakens to a newfound spirituality, unexpected visions of a former life during the Raj stir ancient yearnings for a long lost passion. Mukunda, the palace architect Fabienne loved a century and a half ago, lives again as an American engineer and works on the local dam project. As Fabienne falls in love again with India and the man of her destiny, the tapestry of her previous life unfolds. But, in the karmic land of the blue gods, a ruthless foe lies in wait. The Kali worshiper, who murdered the two lovers in a faraway past, has come back through the centuries to thwart their dream once more.

"... 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... destiny." The Book Reader Magazine
 
"... entertaining, fast-paced yet deeply spiritual... Here is a superior metaphysical novel!" Metaphysical Reviews

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

"...rich, sensual... multilayered... a thriller... magical, mystical book..." Writer's Digest

"...a striking and highly recommended metaphysical novel..." Midwest Book Review

I lived in India for many months in the same conditions as my heroine and this is my tribute to the India I once knew. This unique reincarnation story could only take place in that colorful setting. If you like exotic settings and mind-provoking or metaphysical ideas, and especially if you like things Indian, you'll love Ashes for the Elephant God. 

Find all my books HERE 

HAPPY READING!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

99cts kindle Countdown BELOVED CRUSADER

BELOVED CRUSADER
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 6 (standalone)
Medieval Fantasy Romance
by Vijaya Schartz

1096 AD - To redeem a Pagan curse, Palatina the Fae braves the Christian world to embark on an expedition to free the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem from the Turks. Pierre de Belfort, Christian Knight of Lorraine, swore never to let a woman rule his life, and doesn't believe in love. Thrown together into the turmoil of the First Crusade, on a sacred journey to a land of fables, they must learn to trust each other. For in this war, the true enemy is not human... and discovery could mean burning at the stake.

"... a vivid look at what life could have been for Pagans and Christians alike. Palatina and Pierre are so lifelike, one could expect them to step out of the page, chain mail jingling and swords flashing." 5 stars (exceptional) Ind'Tale Magazine

"a great combination  of history, fantasy and adventure coupled with romance... romantic tension between Pierre and Palatina... The religious conflict between Christians and Pagans added to the drive of the story and I found it very informative and enlightening... the writing was very good, the storyline interesting and the characters memorable." Book Nerd Review

This novel is a standalone, the only book about Palatina the Fae, although she appears as a child in Book 2.

OTHER BOOKS IN THE CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE SERIES

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 (late 2016-early 2017)

Boxed set - Curse of the Lost Isle, includes the first four novels in the series (still discounted in kindle).
Find all my books HERE

HAPPY READING! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

99cts box set CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE

CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE
4 novels in one download
Books 1-2-3-4
by Vijaya Schartz
Medieval Fantasy Romance

THE CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE
From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.

This Box set includes:

PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE
As the Vikings raid the coast of Alba, Pressine of Bretagne sets out toseduce King Elinas of Dumfries, chosen by the Goddess to unite thetribes against the foreign invader. Elinas, still mourning his departedqueen, has no intention to remarry. Head‑strong and independent,Pressine does not expect to fall for the very attractive, wise and noble ruler... Furthermore, her Pagan nature clashes with the religiousfanaticism of the king's Christian heir, who suspects her unholyancestry and will stop at nothing to get rid of her.

PAGAN QUEEN

Queen at last, Pressine brings victory to her beloved Elinas and prosperity to their growing kingdom. But she has to contend with the intrigues of Charlemagne's bishops, spurred by her Christian stepson.She also fears the curse that could bring her downfall. For the love of Elinas, she will tempt fate and become with child. But when her indomitable passion challenges the wrath of the Goddess Herself. . . can she win that battle?

SEDUCING SIGEFROI
To offset the curse that makes her a serpent from the waist down one day each month, Melusine, exiled Princess of Strathclyde, must seduce and wed a mortal knight, the shrewd and ambitious Sigefroi of Ardennes.

Sigefroi, son of the Duke of Lorraine, suspects Melusine is not what she appears, but her beauty, her rich dowry, and her sharp political skills serve his ambitions. He never expected her to soften his stone-cold warrior heart.

So close to the Imperial court, dangers and intrigue threaten Melusine.War looms on the horizon, a Mermaid was sighted around Luxembourg, and Sigefroi's bishop brother questions her ancestry. If anyone ever suspects Melusine's true nature, she will burn at the stake...

LADY OF LUXEMBOURG
978 AD - Melusine the Fae, immortal and cursed Lady of Luxembourg, managed to hide her Pagan nature from mortals for many years. She fiercely protects her handsome Count, Sigefroi, but in their princely bliss, neither of them seems to age, and a few suspicious bishops take notice. Then an ondine wreaks havoc during a battle, luring enemy soldiers into the river.

Betrayed, Sigefroi reflects on his many sins from the depths of a rat infested dungeon. Under torture, will he reveal her deadly secret? And when her beloved turns into a devout Christian, can Melusine salvage her happiness? Can love truly redeem her curse, or will she burn at the stake?

Other books in the series:

Chatelaine of Forez Book 5
Beloved Crusader - Book 6
Damsel of the Hawk - Book 7
Angel of Lusignan - Book 8 and end of the series (coming late 2016 or early 2017)

HAPPY READING
Find all my kindle books HERE

99cts kindle countdown LADY OF LUXEMBOURG

LADY OF LUXEMBOURG
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 4
Medieval fantasy romance
by Vijaya Schartz

978 AD Melusine the Fae, immortal and cursed Lady of Luxembourg, managed to hide her Pagan nature from mortals for many years. She fiercely protects her handsome Count, Sigefroi, but in their princely bliss, neither of them seems to age, and a few suspicious bishops take notice. Then an ondine wreaks havoc during a battle, luring enemy soldiers into the river.

Betrayed, Sigefroi reflects on his many sins from the depths of a rat infested dungeon. Under torture, will he reveal her deadly secret? And when her beloved turns into a devout Christian, can Melusine salvage her happiness? Can love truly redeem her curse, or will she burn at the stake?

"Schartz is a gifted writer in many genres, and the research she does for every book is phenomenal. Every detail is woven into the story seamlessly, so you feel as if you are really there, watching the horses, the fighting, the clothing, the lovemaking. Looking forward to the next volume." Manic Readers 5 stars

This is book Four of the Curse of the Lost Isle Series.
The Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy romantic series includes other books:

Book 1 - PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE (Pressine's early story)
Book 2 - PAGAN QUEEN (Pressine's last story)
Book 3 - SEDUCING SIGEFROI (Melusine's early story)
Book 4 - LADY OF LUXEMBOURG (Melusine's later story)
Book 5 - CHATELAINE OF FOREZ (another Melusine story - standalone)
Book 6 - BELOVED CRUSADER (Palatina's story - standalone)
Book 7 - DAMSEL OF THE HAWK (Meliora's story - standalone)

There is also a boxed set of novels 1 through 4, CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE

Find all the books HERE 

HAPPY READING.