Saturday, December 24, 2016

Free in kindle for the holidays: PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE

Yay! free in kindle for the holidays
PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 1


"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." Romance Junkies.  





Also #99cts for a few days:

PAGAN QUEEN
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 2

A few other titles may still be discounted, but hurry, don't miss it!  Find them all in kindle Here:




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

Sunday, December 18, 2016

#99cts galore on the entire Curse of the Lost Isle series in #kindle for the holidays!

#99cts galore on the entire Curse of the Lost Isle series in #kindle for the holidays! (free in unlimited)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1QKDC4 
Click the link an check which books you already have, and which you are missing in this 5-star medieval historical fantasy romance series.


"the author 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... character flaws are eye-opening... watch for interesting twists and turns... unexpected happenings totally caught me off guard." Romance Junkies



And don't forget the boxed set of the first four novels in the series. You can find it in kindle at:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VGMYSCM


HAPPY READING!

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

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Curse of the Lost Isle series is now complete!

If you like strong ladies with powers, medieval history, castle life, heroic feats and romantic stories, you will love this series, featuring a family of immortal Fae, roaming the middle ages in search of redemption from a curse. Steeped in history and legend. "Edgy medieval, Yay!" 5 stars on Amazon

Find the entire series in kindle  HERE

With the last book, Angel of Lusignan, Book 8, now in pre-order, coming out in January, this series is now complete, and here is the list of all the titles:


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
There is also a BOX-SET of the first four titles HERE

Available in kindle and most titles in paperback, with the rest coming soon in paper as well.
Vijaya Schartz
 Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
 Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks -

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Angel of Lusignan has a cover!

Yay! Angel of Lusignan has a cover, and I love it. 
Release date is January 20.
It will go on pre-order in kindle soon.

What do you think of the cover? 
 
This is Book 8 of the Curse of the Lost Isle #medieval #fantasy #romance #series 


Some books in the series stand alone, but this one ends the series and concludes the fate of Melusine the Fay, so you may want to catch up with the previous novels involving Melusine (Books 2-3-4-5). There is still time. 



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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Enter contest to win ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN, coming soon

Coming soon:
ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 8
Last book in the series,
medieval fantasy romance

"Edgy medieval, Yay!" 5 stars series

See the entire series HERE


Enter your name to win a pdf copy by email: vijayaschartz1@cox.net
 
No cover yet, but check out the yummy hero and the heroine on the page.

Contest to win Vijaya's books & eBooks

Young knight Raymond of Forez, blaming himself for his uncle's death in a hunting accident, falls off his horse at the very sight of the lovely Melusine. He has no knowledge of their turbulent past. Even less that she is an immortal Fae with angel blood... afflicted by a curse. He doesn't believe in the local legends... yet how can he resist such beauty and loving wisdom?

Melusine, who waited for him in Aquitaine, is full of remembered love, but can she trust this young knight with her mission, or her deadly secrets? In this explosive religious climate, the Church is suspicious of everyone, and the slightest rumor of witchery or Pagan magic could send them both burning at the stake. Can their love overcome the curse this time?

HAPPY READING!

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

Monday, November 28, 2016

Lusignan, a real place and a real family, with its legend of Melusine the Fae

Since the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy series is based upon authentic legends, I get to see the places where my characters may have roamed a millennium ago. 

As I am revising ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN for publication in January 2017, I feel very excited about this last novel in the series.

One might believe because Melusine is an immortal Fae, that she did not exist. When you visit Lusignan, however, she seems very real. The entire region of northern Aquitaine is called "Melusine country" and traces of the ondine with a scaly tail is still alive there.
I can see my hero and heroine in this terrain, under the walls of the castle. In Lusignan and all around, in Vouvant and Mervent, you find her name on the many shops.


She is on the facade of official buildings, sometimes discreet, and sometimes flaunting her scales or her dragon wings to whomever is passing by.


 
 
 
 
 
Moreover, Melusine founded the very real family of Lusignan, a royal house of French origin, which ruled much of Europe and the Levant, including the kingdoms of Jerusalem, Cyprus, and Armenia, from the 12th through the 15th centuries during the Middle Ages.

Out of this family came not only the royal family of Lusignan, but later, through Eleanor of Aquitaine, the royal families of England, and the Valois and the Bourbon royal families of France.


Does this mean the angel blood running in Melusine's veins a thousand years ago still runs in her descendants? I want to believe it. After all, there is always a kernel of truth at the heart of every legend.

Learn more about the legend of Melusine, her mother and her sisters, in the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy series HERE

Catch up with the series for the best price, with the boxed set of books 1-2-3-4 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.

HAPPY READING!

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

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Curse of the Lost Isle Book 8 - in progress

It's always a little sad to write the last book in a long series. I've been working on the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy series for twenty years, off and on, and Book 8, ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN, will be the last one, bringing Melusine's curse to its conclusion.
curseseries 
In the historical chronology, this book takes place before Beloved Crusader and Damsel of the Hawk (portraying the other two sisters and set during the Crusades), but it is the most well known legend of Melusine, the myth scholars have been studying for centuries... particularly in Europe.

melusine 2 This book is set in Lusignan, the town Melusine created according to legend. Lusignan is also the name of the family she started in Aquitaine. Melusine is first featured in Book 2, PAGAN QUEEN, as a child. She reappears in Book 3 SEDUCING SIGEFROI, Book 4 LADY OF LUXEMBOURG, and Book 5 CHATELAINE OF FOREZ.

Previously, from her Luxembourg family, after marrying Sigefroi, she gave birth to a line of kings and emperors who lived in Germany, Flanders and Austria. In Forez, however, her initial success was later crushed by religious cleansing.

guydelusignanIn Lusignan, she gives birth to a powerful family. Her descendants Guy of Lusignan and his brother became kings of Jerusalem and Cyprus during the Crusades. Another descendant of hers is the famous and infamous Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen, and mother to powerful kings and princes. King Richard mentions more than once the stain upon his family, his evil ancestress through the centuries, the cursed one. That was Melusine.

melusine-basreliefBut beyond the myth and the legend, I wanted to find the heart of these characters. Remembering that history is always written by the victors, and Paganism was crushed by Christendom. So it made sense that the Pagans of the time would be reviled and presented in a negative light, even accused of horrible deeds.

In my research, I strive to peel the layers of superstition to find the truth of these fascinating characters, and bring them to life in a favorable light, with their hopes and struggles. I hope you will enjoy reading their story as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

HAPPY READING!

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


Monday, August 22, 2016

99cts PAGAN QUEEN for a few days in kindle

Yay! PAGAN QUEEN is 99cts in kindle for a few days only, hurry.
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 2
5-star medieval fantasy romance series

"the author 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... character flaws are eye-opening... watch for interesting twists and turns... unexpected happenings totally caught me off guard." Romance Junkies

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

Monday, July 25, 2016

DAMSEL OF THE HAWK 99cts in kindle

For the first time and only for a few days, hurry. 
99cts in kindle
DAMSEL OF THE HAWK,
5-star Curse of the Lost Isle series, standalone, medieval fantasy romance. Only for a few days...   
https://amzn.com/B01CH93SNM 

"...so vivid I could picture myself right there... tough, honorable alpha hero... fiercely protective and loyal mountain dog, Kopec... Meliora... hints of the strong, rebellious woman she actually is... not a simple HEA for them... but once they finally get it, it's wonderful!" Amazon  also in paperback


HAPPY READING

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Building Castles in Medieval Times - by Vijaya Schartz

Click here to get it in kindle
As I am writing the last book ind the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval series, ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN (Book 8) set in Aquitaine, I am thoroughly enjoying the research, as much as the story and the characters.

Start reading the series with the boxed set of the first four novels. Seven are already published, and the last one will be out for the holidays.

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, build mighty castles, 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!"


* * * * * 
In the Twelfth Century, castles sprouted all over Europe. In England the first castles were mainly built in a hurry, out of wood, by the Norman invader to secure conquered territory. They were motte and bailey castles, with a keep, earth works, wooden fences and sharp stakes. Later, the keep and walls were rebuilt in stone.






Meanwhile, on the continent, like in Aquitaine, castles were already made of stone. The Romans had built stone roads and forts centuries earlier, leaving solid foundations in prime locations. Just out of the dark ages after the barbarian invasions, the central power fractured into smaller estates, the local lords rebuilt and expanded these stone forts for protection. Not only they fortified their castles, but also their entire cities.




Medieval building technique. Notice the crane.


The new cities and castles were generally built on a promontory, a plateau or a hill, surrounded by water, at an estuary, a confluent, or on a cliff overlooking a river. A body of water protected the castle from attacks by land, but rivers could also be highways for enemies invading by boats. Occasional Viking and Norman raids were still common.



Fortified city and castle of Carcassonne - Southern Aquitaine

The lack of a strong central power also encouraged greedy land owners and bands of rogue knights to appropriate territory by force. Stone walls offered the best protection.





Building a castle was expensive and required a great amount of gold to pay the many skilled workers needed for the monumental task. A lord would hire a taskmaster, overseers, a master mason, architects, an army of masons and stone cutters, carpenters, blacksmiths, lead beaters, barrel makers, potters, candle makers, and other craftsmen. He also needed diggers and general workmen, as well as water carriers.





Castle of Lusignan - Aquitaine - Original design


First, the trees around the site would be felled and peeled, then sliced lengthwise to provide lumber for the scaffolding, and the giant beams to support the wooden ceiling of the upper floors. Meanwhile, the stone had to be extracted from the surrounding rock, then cut and chiseled to size. Often the stone was extracted from the excavation for the moat. Secret passages and underground storage rooms and cellars would often be dug from the rock before erecting the walls, with arched ceilings and thick columns to support the edifice above.



Arrow slit in a castle wall


And do not think castles were uncomfortable. Although the external defense walls only had arrow slits, the buildings inside the enclosure had windows to bring in the light. They also had amenities, like giant fireplaces to provide heat during the winter, large kitchens with bread ovens, to cook for hundreds of soldiers, and skilled chefs to prepare meals and special feasts for the nobles. There was wine and cheese aplenty in the cellars.




medieval toilet - or garderobe


The castle even had toilets called garderobe, simple sitting holes at the outer side of the wall, allowing automatic disposal of human waste straight down into the moat or the river below, which conveniently eliminated odors.




Castle of Tiffauge - Aquitaine - France


Also important to the castle was a permanent source of fresh water, so if there was no natural spring on the premises, digging a well would constitute a first priority. In case of a siege, the castle must be self-sufficient.




Mock up - castle of Lusignan - Aquitaine - France


A great castle would include several courtyards, including one for weapon practice. Also inside the walls would be stables for the horses, a barn for the hay, barracks for the guards and soldiers, sheds and work places for the artisans, blacksmiths, etc. The kitchens would have their own buildings and storage rooms.




Castle of Lusignan - Aquitaine - France


Very few of these early stone castles have survived a thousand years of warfare, and those that did survive were updated and modified over the centuries, but we have lithographs and drawings, as well as mock ups to show us what the original construction looked like.


Vijaya Schartz
Swords, blasters, romance with a kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
Amazon - Barnes & Noble

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!