Wednesday, April 20, 2016

DAMSEL OF THE HAWK is out today! by Vijaya Schartz

DAMSEL OF THE HAWK, Book 7 in the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy romance series (standalone) is out today.

The story is set in 1204, after the sacking of Constantinople by the Crusaders, and I had lots of fun with the research. My hero is one of the mysterious Kipchak warriors who served in the Byzantine emperor's personal guard. Savagely loyal, fearless, and deadly, the Kipchak offered their skills for gold, and Constantinople had plenty.

As barbarians go, the Kipchak are full of surprises for a westerner like me. Raised in France, I always considered the hordes from the east a bunch of uncivilized demons on little horses, eating raw meat, killing, and pillaging. Although some tribes were more violent than others, and despite the fact that many lived in tents, these barbarians of the steppes, when they settled, could build beautiful cities, temples and palaces. There is also a gap in centuries between Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan, who was on the rise at the time of the story.

The Kipchak also brought with them a number of amenities we still enjoy today. They didn't eat their meat raw, they grilled it, and many of us still like a good Mongolian Barbecue. They brought us medicine herbs and spices from the orient. They traded silk and precious gems as they controlled the roads between the continents. They enjoyed fermented drinks, made from goat milk, oats and barley, and they could drink great quantities of it. They could hold their liquor like no one else.

While the Crusaders used a crossbow and fired their bolts in volleys, the Kipchak used a small composite bow of wood, horn and sinew, with incredible precision. They could hit their mark from a great distance, with a single arrow, from the saddle of a galloping horse. The Kipchak's skills as riders reached the point of acrobatics. Their horses, small in comparison to the enormous destriers of the western knights, could travel great distances in very little time, even in mountainous terrain.

Always close to nature, the Kipchak raised horses, sheep and goats, and they loved and respected their animals, although they rarely named them. They even had a white dog deity named Kopec. Of course, that's what I named the hero's white sheepdog in the story.

But there was also gold in the Caucasus Mountains between the Caspian and the Black Sea, and the Kipchak weren't immune to the fascination of precious metals. The women wore headdresses and heavy necklaces made of gold coins, especially the khan's wives and concubines.

Their beauty was legendary. The term Caucasian comes from their look. Part Asian and part Viking (the Russ tribe that invaded from the north), they had golden skin and clear eyes, very little body hair, and the men kept their hair short under the turban. They bathed often and kept good personal hygiene, compared to the often smelly Crusaders.

I will miss my close relationship to these Kipchak warriors as I move on to writing the next book in this series, which will be set in Poitou and Aquitaine (France), and will feature Melusine the Fae, the infamous lady of Lusignan.

Here is my new release:
DAMSEL OF THE HAWK
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 7 (standalone)
from Books We Love Ltd
by Vijaya Schartz
in eBook and paperback
http://amzn.com/B01CH93SNM

1204 AD - Meliora, immortal Fae and 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 a 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...

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE is FREE in KINDLE for a few days!

Yay! PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE, Book 1 in the Curse of the Lost Isle 5-star medieval historical romance series is free for a few days in kindle at:

Don't miss the first book introducing the series, entirely free to download.

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

"The exciting battles and period details also drew me in as did the intrigue surrounding Elinas' son trying to prevent him from marrying Pressine... 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." - The Hope Chest Review  

Other books in the series:
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

Happy Reading!

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

Saturday, March 5, 2016

DAMSEL OF THE HAWK is in pre-order at Amazon & Smashwords!

I'm very excited about my new release, DAMSEL OF THE HAWK - Curse of the Lost Isle Book 7 (standalone) - Medieval Fantasy Romance. Although the release date is April 20 2016, it's already in pre-order:
 
 
1204 AD - Meliora, immortal Fae and 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 a 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...
 
HAPPY READING!
 
Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks - Smashwords - iBooks - Kobo


 
 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

DAMSEL OF THE HAWK is coming soon - by Vijaya Schartz

Getting to the end of writing DAMSEL OF THE HAWK (scheduled for release April 20, 2016), I cannot help but look back upon my first brainstorming sessions for the plot of this book. How it evolved since then amazes me. Then again, it happens with all the books we write. The semi-finished product as I near "the end" goes far beyond my expectations. It's a good thing.
I know many writers write from a rough draft. I never could. When I tried, I had to throw it away and start the novel again from the beginning without looking at the draft. Although I'm a plotter, my plot is never set and constantly evolves with the characters' reactions as the story unfolds. New villains appear out of the shadows, creating different conflicts and changing the backdrop and the course of the story. As I research minor details, better ideas come along and change everything again. Characters are forced to deal with unforeseen situations. The black moment is not what I predicted at all. Until the denouement, I do not know what the theme of the story is. That's what keeps me writing, what keeps me intrigued, what keeps me excited about my characters, what keeps the story alive in my mind, brimming with possibilities.
As I discover the heart of my story, that's usually when the final title comes to me. This book had several working titles in the six months it took to write it, none of them worthy of mention. Damsel of the Hawk appealed to me because of its medieval feel, and the tight connection to the heroine and her circumstances. This is also when I start looking for images to inspire the cover designer for the cover. I've been blessed for this Curse of the Lost Isle series:

 


The inability to write from a complete draft is what prevents me to participate in events like NANOWRIMO. That draft written in a month would be of no use to me. So I write my novels from a rough outline, ten pages or less, one paragraph per expected chapter, with the beginning, the main scenes, the major plot twists, and the expected ending. I leave plenty of room for change, to implement new ideas as they come, adding more chapters to the outline. Often, it means I have to go back to the beginning and add or rewrite several scenes to accommodate a new plot line, introduce a new character, give the reader clues, or foreshadow a future plot twist. It works for me. I don't mind rewriting as I write.
Then, when I have a complete story with all its intricacies and its nuances, comes the real work, the polishing, the fleshing out, the recasting of every scene to make it part of the whole. Emphasizing the theme, adding emotion, polishing the action scenes, the love scenes, making the reader part of the story by adding more setting and sensory details... That's usually the last month in my novel writing process.
Can you tell I love writing? Well, I do.
DAMSEL OF THE HAWK
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 7 (standalone)
Available for pre-order in early March:
1204 AD - Meliora, immortal Fae and 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 a 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...
In the meantime, catch up with the Curse of the Lost Isle series at:
 Vijaya Schartz
 Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com

Monday, February 22, 2016

Win DAMSEL OF THE HAWK, Book 7 in the Curse of the Lost Isle series

Hurry to enter the drawing to win a pdf copy of my next book in the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval historical fantasy romance series:

DAMSEL OF THE HAWK
This is book is a standalone story. 

Enter your name in the drawing  HERE.

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...

Winner announced in early March when the book goes into pre-order. Prize delivered when the book is released in late April 2016. Good Luck!

Here are the other titles in the series. You can find them at:

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

Friday, January 29, 2016

BELOVED CRUSADER 99cts in kindle - Hurry.



99cts in kindle for a few days:

BELOVED CRUSADER

Curse of the Lost Isle Book 6
(standalone)


http://amzn.com/B00W3T24PK





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:
http://amzn.com/B00VGMYSCM
Find all my books at:
Vijaya Schartz
 Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
 

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:
http://amzn.com/B007K1EGAM

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.
 
HAPPY READING!
 
Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks - Smashwords - iBooks - Kobo