Monday, September 23, 2013

Researching Medieval Times in pictures - by Vijaya Schartz

Castle in Forez
The Curse of the Lost Isle is an ongoing series that will include many installments.

I am currently writing Book 5 - CHATELAINE OF FOREZ, to come out this winter, but as I research small details, I come across fodder for my future novels in the series. 

This book will again feature Melusine the Fae, a princess of Strathclyde, former lady of Luxembourg, but a few decades have passed.

The Curse of the Lost Isle series
4 books published so far - in kindle only

Arms of Forez
This is the banner of Forez, and the golden dolphin represents Melusine the Fae, a water creature. As many of you know, Melusine is immortal, but cursed to become a water serpent from the waist down one day each month. At the start of the 11th Century, she roams the swamps, lakes, springs, and rivers of Forez, where she meets Count Artaud, a Pagan knight, who might be the reincarnation of Melusine's very first love, Sigefroi of Luxembourg.

During research, I'm often distracted by facts and images that pop up in my searches. I'm very visual, so images bring up a slew of ideas.

Book 6 will cover the first Crusade, and it became difficult to remain focused on the book I'm presently writing, so I decided to stash away pictures and information for the future books in the series. Here are some of my precious finds I stashed on Pinterest for my next novel. 

Godfrey of Bouillon 1st Crusader
Godfrey of Bouillon (in Belgium) will be a character in Book 6. He initiated the first knights' Crusade, which will serve as the backdrop for that novel.

But right now, I have to get back to writing Book 5, CHATELAINE OF FOREZ, so you can enjoy it during the holidays.

Wishing you all HAPPY READING.

Vijaya Schartz
Swords, Romance with a Kick


Friday, September 20, 2013

How a piece of Renaissance art influenced a paranormal romance By Juli D. Revezzo

Ask any author about the inspiration behind their works and you’ll get all kinds of answers. Some authors are people-watchers, some let music inspire them, some the muse comes to, uninvited. The reasons for inspiration even vary from book to book, short story to short story.

For me, one of my biggest interests in my life has been mythology, and alongside it, art. I even pursued a degree in art history, lo, many years ago. My favorites pieces were always (no shock to my friends, I’m sure) artists who themselves were inspired by Classical mythology.

So when I began kicking around the idea for what became my debut paranormal romance novel, PASSION’S SACRED DANCE, I wasn’t exactly sure what the story might entail. Poking through my collection of books on Mythology, yes, gave me something of an answer. I knew it was to be a war based on the Second Battle of Mag Tuired, but it was an art piece that really set the book in motion. During those years that I studied for my degree, I fell in love with the art of Sandro Botticelli. I enjoy his work so much, I have a collection of books, postcards and other assorted goodies which his work graces.

 My favorite is his piece La Primavera (or the Birth of Spring). It hangs on my wall even now. In this piece you have various gods, prancing around in an idyllic garden, Venus at its center denoting the world’s interest turning to love with the spring. (You know that old cliché) To her right, the lovely Flora spills flowers from her skirt as she dances. Littering the world with beauty. But it was the three graces, dancing to Venus’s left that always drew my attention. What a wonderful way to celebrate the light side of the year! It does bring to mind maypole dances, and Renaissance fair dancers. I even wrote papers about it in school.

However, if you look to the far left, you will see a figure out of place. This fella I always thought was Mars, the god of War, and what an odd place for him to show up. So that set the wheels in motion, what could War be stirring up in those leaves above and why? So when my characters started chattering in my head about the upcoming beginning of spring, I heard rumblings of war, and wondered why. Aaron and his warrior buddies came along and said, “The ancients knew. They had it right. War’s coming and spring might not. Do you know this girl?” He pointed to the dancers. “And where the heck do we find her?”

(It was hard for me to tell him later that I had the interpretation all wrong. The god’s actually Mercury, not Mars. But messengers are messengers, all the same, right?)

So that’s how Boticelli’s Primavera tied into the Second Battle of Mag Tuired and became PASSION’S SACRED DANCE.

 Passion’s Sacred Dance

Battling mounting debt, Stacy Macken is determined not to lose her historic art gallery. When Aaron Fielding appears and offers to help, she fights to keep the attraction sizzling between them from clouding her judgment. He may be her savior in disguise--but can she trust him?
Aaron intrigues her with tales of the Tuatha dé Danann, sworn warriors who protect humanity from the monsters seeking their destruction. If Aaron can prove what he claims, she would give up anything to help--even the gallery he claims is sacred ground. But with her property set to stage the next epic battle, she needs answers. An old family diary will confirm the ancient legend is true, if only they can find it in time.
If the battle is lost, the enemy will take control of Earth for the next five hundred years. Stacy and Aaron's budding love might only complicate things.

 About Juli D. Revezzo:

Juli D. Revezzo has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics and has a soft spot for classic the “Goths” of the 19th century. Her short fiction has been published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly. She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of Independent Authors Network and Magic Appreciation Tour. Passion’s Sacred Dance is her first romance novel.

If you’d like to read more, PASSION’S SACRED DANCE, from The Wild Rose Press, is available at Amazon (and in the Select program  and coming soon to other e-tailers.

 Thank you, Vijaya, for inviting me here today!

You can find out more about Juli at her homepage:
On twitter: @julidrevezzo

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fragment Fridays Blog Hop - Seducing Sigefroi - Curse of the Lost Isle

Curse of the Lost Isle Book 3
by Vijaya Schartz
Melusine flicked her serpent tail and dove into the green depths, then surfaced in a pool of pale sunshine near the pile of the stone bridge. 

The road rumbled with the gallop of horses. Melusine's wet skin quivered and her heart stumbled in her chest. Dear Goddess! If mortals saw her in serpent form, the priests and bishops would hunt her, torture her, then sentence her to burn at the stake like a demonic creature.

The hoof beats slowed as the riders approached the bridge. Closing her eyes, she focused her mind upon her inward gift of sight. Aye, two knights in full armor, and a young squire. The destriers halted.

Scabbards flapped on leather trappings, and metal clinked as the men dismounted. Boots rang on hard stone.

Waist high in the river, under the arch, Melusine held her breath. She dared not move or make a sound. On the changing patterns of the water surface, she spied the reflection of the approaching men. A huge black destrier snorted at Melusine's scent, but she calmed the warhorse with a soothing thought.

"What did I tell you?" The tall knight with the commanding voice removed his helmet and pushed back the mail hauberk to shake a full head of flaming red hair. A smile lit the strong planes of his clean shaven face. He stared at the little fort, atop the rocky cliff across the river. "This is the most magnificent promontory I've ever beheld!"

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Daring Damsels - the medieval bargain of the season

At 99cts, four complete novels for your kindle, you can't miss this Bargain!

When I learned that four of my favorite medieval authors were getting together to offer a box set at such an incredible price, I squealed. Here they are, for your reading pleasure.

A LADY'S CHARADE by Eliza Knight

A Scottish Lady, abandoned and in disguise.  A Knight who wants her dead.  But he could be her only savior in
England—as long as he never discovers her identity.

DANCE OF DESIRE by Catherine Kean

One veiled Lady dances to save her brother's life. One Lord sheriff, tormented by barbaric secrets, claims her as his bride. The more she learns of him the harder it is to deny his love.

MIDNIGHT SHADOW by Laurel O'Donnell

A Lady dons a mask and cloak to right the wrongs and save her people from oppression.  A Lord, torn between the woman he longs to trust and the outlaw he is determined to hang, vows to discover the truth. 

SPRING'S FURY  by Denise Domning

A woman trained to wield a sword, plots revenge against the man who killed her sire—a Knight who is claiming her land as his own.  If they are to survive the hungry season it will take every bit of his talent for taming wild creatures.

What reviewers are saying:

"Denise Domning directs a riveting presentation of rollicking action with a marvelous cast of characters in a superb plot line, headlining two unforgettable lovers that are sure to find a lasting place in your heart." ~Lori Wright, © 1994-97 Literary Times, Inc, all rights reserved (about Spring's Fury by Denise Domning)

"Medieval romance fans will fall in love with this lively battle of wills story.  Laurel O'Donnell has crafted a wondrous and captivating story." ~Romantic Times (about
Midnight Shadow by Laurel O'Donnell)

"This is a fast-paced tale and Kean successfully uses all the senses to draw readers in. Rexana is a strong woman with inner passions, while Fane must fight the demons of his own haunted past. The secondary characters, from the servants to the peasants, are finely drawn, too, and help bring this tale to life." ~Romantic Times Book Reviews, 4.5 stars (about Dance of Desire by Catherine Kean)

"This was definitely a great romance novel! I enjoyed it from beginning to end." ~Historical Fiction Obsession (about A Lady's Charade by Eliza Knight)

Find this bargain-priced boxed set: