Friday, January 29, 2016

BELOVED CRUSADER 99cts in kindle - Hurry.

99cts in kindle for a few days:


Curse of the Lost Isle Book 6

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 - crowned heart for excellence) Ind'Tale Magazine

"Palatina and Pierre have a magical, but real bond that makes you turn the page to see what happens next. With sexy, sinuous, and dangerous impediments, the metal of this couple is surely tested. By the Rood, Vijaya Schartz sure knows how to turn research and imagination into a Happily Ever After." Hope Chase 5 stars on Amazon.
"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
Also check out the boxed set of books 1-2-3-4 available everywhere in all eBook formats. In kindle here:
Find all my books at:
Vijaya Schartz
 Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick

Sunday, November 22, 2015

PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE is 99cts until the end of November

Princess of Bretagne
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 1

99cts until the end of November everywhere, in all eBook formats and in paperback. Find it on Amazon:

806 AD - Alba (Ancient Scotland) - As the Vikings raid the coast of Alba, Pressine of Bretagne sets out to seduce King Elinas of Dumfries, chosen by the Goddess to unite the tribes against the foreign invader. Elinas, still mourning his departed queen, 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 religious fanaticism of the king’s Christian heir, who suspects her unholy ancestry and will stop at nothing to get rid of her.

"Schartz paints a realistic picture of life in a medieval castle, with all its smells, tastes, visuals, and feelings, and as always, all the primary, as well as the secondary characters are well-developed and interesting. I’m looking forward to the others in this series." - Manic Readers 4.5 stars

"The exciting battles and period details also drew me in as did the intrigue surrounding Elinas' son trying to prevent him from marrying Pressine. Overall, Princess of Bretagne was a solid story that I enjoyed reading. I'm very much looking forward to finding out what's next for Elinas and Pressine when the series continues with the release of Pagan Queen." - 4 stars - The Hope Chest Review

"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... Look for the just released PAGAN QUEEN, to continue the saga of these two lovers." - Four ribbons - Romance Junkies.
See other books in the series in the right column.
Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks - Smashwords - iBooks - Kobo


Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Hard at work on my next medieval novel, set in the middle east during the crusades, I thoroughly enjoy the research, as I always do. In Damsel of the Hawk, Book 7 in the Curse of the Lost Isle series, my hero is a barbarian of the Golden Horde. He is a Kipchak warrior from the personal elite guard of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios in Constantinople.

Recruited by the Byzantines to repel the Turks, the Kipchaks had a strong reputation for honor, unflinching loyalty, and courage in battle. They were the ultimate warriors of their time. They were among the early tribes (like the Huns) to sweep from the steppes and invade what is now Russia, down to the Caucasus mountains, between the Black Sea and the Caspian, all the way to Turkey.
Like the Caucasian people of the time, my new hero has golden skin, blue eyes, and long black hair. He rides a small dun-colored stallion at great speed, can loose an arrow from the saddle at a full gallop. Like all Kipchaks, he wears a silk armor with rectangular iron plates called lamelles, a pointed helmet, and a silver mask to cover his face in battle.

The date is 1204 AD, and this historical period is critical. Constantinople just fell to the Roman Crusaders who looted the golden city. Far in the eastern steppes, in Mongolia, a little known warrior named Temujin is uniting the tribes under his command. Soon, he will become emperor under the name of Genghis Khan, and his empire will stretch from the Danube to Kamchatka and even into China.

Although the tribes worshiped many minor gods, the principal deity of the warriors of the steppes was the sky god Tengri. In Tengrism, Shamans officiated through blood sacrifices, visions and prophecy. But if their prophecy did not come true, they incurred the risk of being killed... a good deterrent against false pretenses, attempts at manipulation, or abuse of power.

Tengri was known to make plants grow and the lightning flash. Since Tengri was omnipresent, one worshiped him simply, by lifting the hands upwards and bowing low, praying for him to bestow good mind and health, and to assist in performing good deeds. It was the individual's responsibility to initiate those good deeds, and to consciously live in harmony with natural law and the spirits of nature.
Ancient alien theorists would have a field day with this mythology. All the descriptions tend to indicate an omnipotent being from the sky in a vessel as large as a city, where he lived with all his subalterns. Albeit the fly away paradise. According to legend, Tengri terra-formed Earth when it was entirely covered with water. He brought dry dirt above the surface, and created all life, including man. Tengri gave a soul to each human being at birth. When a person died, their soul would fly like a bird to the "fly away paradise" of the great god Tengri. An 8th century inscription in the Orkon Valley in Mongolia says: "All human sons are born to die in time, as determined by Tengri."
It was believed that Tengri assisted those who revered him and who were active in trying to accomplish his will. Genghis Khan himself, like many other kings or "Khans" of the steppes, claimed he drew his power and his success from the blessings of the eternal sky god, Tengri. Some rulers even claimed to be the direct sons of Tengri.

Tengri is still worshiped in the modern world in a few small Mongolian societies. By the end of the middle ages in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East, Tengrism melded with Judeo-Christian and Moslem religions. In some places, like in Turkey, the word used for Tengri still means God. Remnants of Tengrism can also be found in Tibetan Lamaism. The word "Lama" itself has its source in the creation myths of Tengrism.

If you like the rich cultural diversity of the middle ages, you may want to give a try to the CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE series. The boxed set is a bargain, and the two latest books stand alone. They are available everywhere in all formats, but until the end of this month, all BWL eBooks are BOGO (Buy one, get one free) at the BWL store. Find my BOGO bargains HERE

Includes the first four novels in the series

In kindle here:
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, 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!"
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 6

in kindle here:
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 - crowned heart for excellence) Ind'Tale Magazine July/August 2015 issue.


Vijaya Schartz
Action, Adventure, Romance with a Kick

Sunday, July 5, 2015

BELOVED CRUSADER is taking a BOOK TOUR - by Vijaya Schartz

Click here for more information about this book tour

From July 13 to July 17, 2015, BELOVED CRUSADER will be on a blog tour with HISTORICAL FICTION VIRTUAL BOOK TOURS. Please help spread the word and share on FB and Twitter with your medieval reader friends.

Book 6 of the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy series
is also a standalone story in the series.

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.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME - by Vijaya Schartz

If you were born in June, your birth flower is the rose, and your birth stone the pearl. Another June flower is the honeysuckle, a symbol of everlasting love, often mentioned in medieval songs. But these gorgeous long stem roses we know today do not exist in nature. They are hybrids manipulated by man for millennia, to enhance their beauty or their fragrance.

Most species of roses came from Asia along the silk road and were cultivated in northeast Africa and the near east as far as five thousand years ago. Ancient Zoroastrian texts mention roses with hundreds of petals, and the legends say that originally the rose didn’t have thorns. The thorns only appeared when evil descended to earth.

Alexander the Great discovered the rose in Persia, and the Roman emperors soon followed in his steps and fell in love with it. The Romans brought the white rose with them all the way to England where it flourished. In Rome, they used it lavishly and even to excess. Nero was known to bury his banquet guests under mounds of rose petals, to the point of suffocation. After the fall of the Roman Empire, during the dark ages and the barbarian invasions, the rose that had symbolized the oppressor was shunned in most of Europe and mostly forgotten. The early middle ages only knew the primrose, the hawthorn, climbing rose vines, and other wild varieties of the rose family, native to Europe.

As Islam spread over the middle east, the oriental rose supplanted the lotus as the queen of all flowers. The Turks and the Persians of the time believed that roses were born from drops of sweat from their holy prophet. Soon, their passion for roses spread to Arabia. As early as the tenth century, the Arabs, who perfected the process of distilling perfumes, traded rose water and rose-perfumed oils as valuable commodities to their occupied territories in Spain, and even to China.

In the twelfth century, the Crusaders returning from Jerusalem and Constantinople brought the beautiful rose back to Europe, along with its legends, its fragrance, and its healing powers. Robert de Brie brought to France the Damask rose. With new influx from the middle east, rose water became the rich women’s favorite luxury. So much so that the most ascetic leaders of the Church felt the need to forbid such decadence, considering it sinful.

It didn’t prevent medieval women from growing their own rose gardens inside the walls of their fortresses, where they enjoyed spinning, sewing, and embroidering among the fragrant flowers. Soon they learned to distill their own rose water and later made their own perfumes, especially in Provence, where the climate allows the flowers to grow in abundance.

Queen Eleanor of Provence, who married Henry III of England, was the first to adopt a white rose as her family emblem. Her son Edward also chose a rose. The houses of York and Lancaster made their family symbols famous in the War of the Roses. Later, the Tudors combined the two roses into a double rose.

Rosa in Latin is the verb “to love,” and Rose in French is the color pink, the color of most wild roses. In late medieval times, the rose became a cherished symbol in many courtly love stories and legends. My Curse of the Lost Isle series is inspired by such authentic legends.

Curse of the Lost Isle Book Six (standalone)
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.

Find all my books on: AMAZON  -  B&N - ARE - SMASHWORDS  -  iBOOKS  etc. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The horn, as it punctuated medieval life - by Vijaya Schartz

Nothing says medieval like the sound of a horn in the distance, filling a valley, bouncing off mountains, and reminding everyone around that something important, or dreadful, was about to happen. These horns were made of animal horns or ivory, hence the name. Often they were sculpted or engraved with intricate carvings.

My first recollection of reading about such horns was in school, while learning about Charlemagne and his loyal nephew Roland, who was isolated and attacked at the end of the column, by the enemy, in the Pyrenees. The mournful sound of Roland's horn, named Oliphant, called for help but remained unheard by Charlemagne at the front of the legion. As a result, Roland was killed, despite his unbreakable sword, Durandal. At the time it was a tragedy. Roland was Charlemagne's favorite nephew, and history says that he was betrayed by the knight Ganelon.

Nothing can set the mood in a medieval novel, like the sound of a horn. Every time I read or write about it, it gives me goosebumps. Whether it's a call to battle, a village fire, an invasion, a natural calamity, the horn is often a precursor of danger.

Even now, we use sirens to warn the population of tsumani, tornadoes, and other dangers. Their sound imitates the mournful lament of the ancient horn.
In BELOVED CRUSADER, my latest book in the Curse of the Lost Isle series, the Crusaders, like the armies of Charlemagne, set out and stop to the sound of the horn. Actually, they also take the Charlemagne road, that crossed Europe from its northern point to the famed city of Constantinople. Hope you enjoy the read.
Vijaya Schartz, author
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Snippets - CHATELAINE OF FOREZ by Vijaya Schartz

Curse of the Lost Isle Book 5
by Vijaya Schartz

Afflicted by the ondine curse, Melusine seeks the soul of her lost beloved in the young Artaud of Forez, who reigns over the verdant hills south of Burgundy, on the road of pilgrims, troubadours and merchants. But this dark and brooding Pagan lord is not at all what she expected or even hoped. He knows nothing of their past love, her Fae nature, or her secret curse. Must Melusine seduce and betroth this cold stranger to satisfy the Goddess and redeem her curse?
The gold in the rivers instills greed in the powerful, and many envy the rich Lord of Forez, including his most trusted vassals... even the Bishop of Lyon. When Artaud’s attraction to Melusine makes them the target of a holy hunt, will she find redemption from the curse, or will they burn at the stake?

"magic religious battles and epic love... fast paced, with many scenic changes and villains to despise. The battle between good and evil is front and center in this pit stop on a fantastic journey that spans centuries!" - InD'Tale Magazine


March 1028 AD - Forez (now in central France)
 Melusine stopped singing and shuddered in the cool water. Someone was coming. Fast approaching hooves trampled the underbrush. She straightened and gripped the well worn sides of the rectangular stone basin. Birds and insects had ceased their chirping. Through the trees, a single horseman on a black stallion galloped up the forested path to the sacred spring where she bathed.
 How had he crossed the magic barrier she'd erected down the hill? Could he be an immortal like her?
 She glanced at her blue robes, left in the middle of the clearing, at the foot of the tall, standing stone hugging the statue of the Great Goddess. Too far away. No time to step out of the catch basin and retrieve them. With a flurry of the hand, she wove a quick invisibility spell and willed the water around her to still.
 Her heart stumbled for a beat or two. This could be the blessed day the Great Goddess had promised her. The day she finally met her former beloved... Sigefroi. Although, in his new incarnation, he wore another name.
 The horseman emerged from the curtain of trees, impossibly tall, dark, muscular, in black leather gear, a crossbow across his back. A sword slapped his thigh, and a hunting knife adorned his belt. Half a dozen bloody hares hung from the back of his saddle. Definitely not her beloved Sigefroi. What now?
 The stranger glanced at her, raised a dark brow and nodded a salute from the saddle. A restrained smile touched his lips. How could he possibly see her through the invisibility spell? But he'd already crossed her privacy barrier. Fae blood definitely coursed through his veins.
 Melusine shrank into her chilly bath, dreading to face him naked.
 It could be worse. It could be the first Wednesday of the month, when the curse made her a serpent from the waist down. In this increasingly Christian land, discovery in ondine form could cost her to burn at the stake.
 Since the local Christians avoided Pagan shrines, however, the stranger must be of the old faith.
 She took a deep breath and made her voice as formidable and intimidating as she could. "Who dares violate the sacred spring of the Great One?"
 "Count Artaud of Forez." The deep baritone rang loud and clear.
 Melusine's heartbeat faltered. Not an immortal, but worse. "Artaud of Forez?"
 "I own this land, and methinks you are the one trespassing." He dismounted with surprising agility for his size, sliding off the saddle like an acrobat.
 Melusine scrutinized the young man. According to the Goddess, Artaud had inherited the soul of her late Sigefroi, but how could it be, when they looked like opposites. Where Sigefroi had been wiry and fair, with gold reddish hair and a clear gaze, Artaud had broad shoulders, straight black hair, a hale face, and a dark, brooding gaze, as deep as a lake on a moonless night. Both looked fearsome, but in different ways.
 Count Artaud led his prancing stallion closer to the large rectangular basin where she bathed.
 Dear Goddess! Heat crept up Melusine's cheeks. She gathered her legs and encircled her knees with her arms for modesty. "How dare you!"
 "My horse is thirsty." His voice held a subtle challenge.
 The black stallion snorted as its master freed him. The beast drank noisily from the far end of the long basin.
 Count Artaud cast her a sidelong glance, his swarthy, square face unreadable. "The Great One would want to quench an animal's thirst."
 "Only a Pagan would know the Great One respects all creatures as equal." Melusine kept her voice even, but anger gripped her insides. How could this Artaud hold the soul of her beloved? He was a cold, dark stranger, not her fiery knight of old.
 His brow shot up. "I fear you have me at a disadvantage, my lady. I have never seen you at court or on my estates. Who might you be?"
 Although she'd known they would soon meet, Melusine had no ready answer. An ondine? A cursed immortal? The woman you are destined to marry? The love of your past life? The enchantress who might bring your doom? She couldn't find words he might accept, even less understand. While she remembered their lifetime together, he did not.
 No sympathy softened the neutral face as his dark stare pierced her. He removed his black leather gloves and sat on a jutting stone next to the well worn edge of the old basin. "Devil got your tongue?"
 Visions of hellish creatures flashed upon Melusine's mind at his mention of the devil. Christians believed in the devil... and Christians wanted her dead.
 "Melusine..." She cleared her choking voice. "My name is Melusine."
 She fancied her first name innocuous enough. Better than Melusine the Fae, immortal, cursed by the Great One, excommunicated First Lady of Luxembourg, the love and the bane of your past existence.
 "Lady Melusine..." He rolled the words on his tongue. His dark, liquid eyes softened and unfocused slightly. "An unusual name for an unusual woman."
 "‘Tis an ancient name, my lord." Tempted to prod his mind and find out what he thought of her, she stopped herself. If he could see through her spells, and Fae blood coursed through his veins, like Sigefroi, he would be impervious to her magic... but not to her charms.
 Changing tactic, she smiled and relaxed against the hollowed stone basin, exposing her submersed nudity through the clear water. "I hear you have done well, Lord Artaud. Your lands of Lyon and Forez thrive, and your people consider you a fair and wise ruler."
 He cast her a sidelong glance, then shifted his gaze to the statue of the Great One dominating the clearing. The quenched black stallion walked away a few paces and grazed the luscious grass of the hillock.
 Awe widened his eyes as he faced her again. "What else have you heard about me?"
 Although Melusine had kept her promise not to spy on Artaud, she knew a few things about him. "The river gold makes you richer than any king. So does the trade on the pilgrimage road to St Jacques of Compostella. Travelers speak highly of your hospitality."
 Bird trills and the chirping of insects had resumed, and the sweet scent of wild flowers filled the air with vibrant life.
 "What you hear is true." He faced her but kept his gaze at eye level. "I'm also a Pagan count ruling over Christian barons. That alone can get you killed these days."
 "Then we have much in common, my lord." Melusine smiled seductively. "Only a devout Pagan would visit the sacred spring and the shrine of the Great One. Why else would you come here?"
 He barely cracked a thin smile. "To water my horse."
 His jest bothered her. So did his cool response to her charms. Hard as she tried, Melusine could not see in this man any remnant of her past love.
 Had she waited these few decades for naught? Had the Great One tricked her? No. The Great One never lied. Still, even though Melusine did not intend to share this stranger's fate, she should warn him of the dangers threatening his rule.
 She trailed her fingers on the water surface, blurring it. "This hill is not just a sacred shrine from time immemorial, Lord Artaud."
 His dark gaze alighted upon her with a new spark of interest. "State your meaning."
 "‘Tis the site of your future castle of Montarcher."
 Suspicion narrowed his eyes. "How do you know of my future designs?"
 Melusine's heart skipped a beat. "The Great One sees and knows all, my lord. You must build your castle in haste to face the coming dangers."
 A muscle in his square jaw jumped. "What dangers?"
 "Your enemies are gathering." Melusine didn't know the future, only that Artaud would need help. "Many envy your riches, my lord. Others resent your faith. But from here, you can fend them off."
 "Why here?" His tone held curiosity.
 Melusine straightened and gazed in the distance. She was destined to protect him, but she felt naught for this stranger. "This is a sacred site, my lord. From here, the statue of the Great One will bless and protect all your lands."
 His brow rose and his eyes softened but still stared at her. "Truly?"
 Melusine shrank under his scrutiny, wishing she wore clothes. "Truly, my lord."
 "Thank you for the warning, my lady." He rose and whistled. His stallion trotted up to him. In one light vault, Artaud landed in the saddle.
 Melusine's heart jumped. Had she done right, or had she spoiled everything? In any case, she must speak with the Great One. There must be a mistake. She could never love this dark, brooding man. He was not her long lost love.

Find more of Vijaya's books on her website at:
Her books are available at various online retailers.
Find them all on Amazon HERE

Here is another Sunday Snippet. Visit the blogs of the other authors involved in this tour.