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Friday, March 29, 2013

Inside a Writer's Mind

Cindy isn't the only one between books.

For April, I've decided to start another one. But deciding which isn't easy. My brain seemed to think this indecision was a free party, posted the invitation on the internet and now all sorts of weird things are crawling out of the dark corners of my mind.

And then there's my own person obsession: Books. I love books, I love learning things from books, and sometimes I think I became a writer to justify buying so many books (shh, don't tell my husband). So I've been cyberstalking the two biggies, Barnes and Noble and amazon, and buying books.

Which would be good, if they were related to one book, but they're not. At least not to anyone who is relatively sane and logical:-)

I've been buying books on conspiracies, books on the Dust Bowl, books on the Spanish American war (turn of the 20th Century). I've been buying books on the future designs of cities and managing Earth's resources  the same day as I bought diaries about women living on farms during the depression. And lastly I've been buying books about mass murderers.

In all, I've bought over 30 physical books and 7 ebooks on these subjects.

But the really scary thing is, they're all related to each other in my head and I'll use the information I gleaned in my romances, my scifi and my horror novels.

A writer's brain is an undiscovered country. Well, at least until the story is written: then it's an open book.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What to do now??

I'm contemplating what I should write now that my series has come to an end.  I have a historical western series, but I sometimes need a break and to do something different.  I just released my second book in my historical western series Matchmaker & Co.  The book is HEIRESS BRIDE and though now scifi is definitely romance.

My next scifi series will be about three of the male members of the Swords of Gregara.  They will chase a guy or bad guys across the universe to Earth where, of course, they will meet their true loves.  I wish I had more to go on than just that little premise but it's just a twinkle of an idea now.

What about you?  Are you a writer?  What's your next story?  Are you a reader?  What would you like to read?

Inquiring minds want to know.

And because this is my blog, I'm going to post my new book cover even though it's not scifi.  I hope you like it.
Monday, March 25, 2013

Win an eBook Reader from Books We Love - by Vijaya Schartz

Books We Love is one of my publishers for my sci-fi romance and other genres. I'll let you in on this contest to win the reader of your choice below:


Kindle Paperwhite    Nook Simple Touch      Kobo Touch
  
 

Books We Love is celebrating Spring by giving away an eBook Reader. On June 15th one lucky winner will receive his or her choice of the pictured readers, Kindle Paperwhite, Nook Simple Touch, or Kobo Touch. All you have to do is sign up! Find the entry form here:
 http://bookswelove.net/contest.php

GOOK LUCK!
Friday, March 22, 2013

Time Travel and Sci-Fi Better Than Peanut Butter and Chocolate



Remember those Reeses Peanut Butter Cup commercials where one person with chocolate runs into someone else with peanut butter and then they collide? Or maybe I'm just that old.

But that's not the only thing that’s better when combined...or when it collides. 

Science fiction is known for many things, but one of the best components is time-travel

 
The idea has been around for a long time, across most cultures, and there are those who claim they've done it themselves.



There's no end to the story possibilities and a fish out of water story just never grows old. 


Plus it's fun to imagine what would might do if given a second chance--a very compelling aspect of the human condition.


And sometimes we just want to know the future fashions. 

Whatever the compulsion, time-travel is here to stay in our books and movies.

I have two series that focus on the time-travel element. In Kiss Me, I'm Irish, a young Regency-era lady has been banished to a convent. When a chance of escape is at hand via some mysterious lights in the forest, she finds herself in modern day Tennessee at the mercy of a struggling musician and his snarky sister. 

In Apocalypse Babes, the main character--a type of Persephone--gets a second chance at happiness, but she must fight her way through a crummy past, flighty friends, a mysterious compound in the wilderness, and pink velour. 


So take a trip on the wild side, and travel through time--even if it's only in your mind.


Monday, March 18, 2013

The Excitement of Pushing Up a Release Date

I mentioned last month that the release for my new book, The Turncoat's Temptress, is getting close. Well, after some soul searching and calculating, I realized there wasn't much point in waiting until April for the release. The book is ready, I'm ready. So, I'm turning it free into the world on March 26th instead of April 16th. It's always fun when you're able to beat the release date.

The Turncoat's Temptress is the third book in the Legends & Lovers series. Here's the blurb:

Basil Tinwhistle's life changed when he was nine years old and he revealed that he had a proclivity for finding the paranormal. Taken from his family and raised by a special order of men dedicated to memorizing legend and hunting monsters, he's risked life and limb to keep the United States safe from terror in the night. More than that, he left behind the only woman who ever held his heart.

Foreseer Nora Frost's parents abandoned her in favor of pursuing sideshow careers in a circus. Her grandmother raised her with a strict hand to prevent history from repeating itself. Nora has never felt comfortable with herself, except for the brief summer Basil spent at her grandmother's antebellum mansion. When Basil vanished without a word, he broke her heart and she vowed never to fall in love again.

Years later, on one of Nora's worst days, Basil suddenly reappears. The attraction between them is as strong as it was that long ago summer, but Basil is about to reveal a danger Nora never imagined—one that might tear them apart before they can repair the past.

Fun facts about the novel:
*This was my 2012 Camp NaNoWriMo project. It's the first book in the series that I didn't feel the need to completely re-write when it was finished (which can't be said for books 1, 2, and 4).
*The hero, Basil (bay-sil, not baz-il), was originally supposed to be a minor character in book 3. He was going to coerce the real hero (who's actually the hero of book 4) into working for him. Somewhere along the way I became fascinated with Basil because of his obsession with his appearance, his painful past, and his false leg. I always imagined it being chewed off by a monster, but actually, it was a lot simpler than that.
*The beginning of this book was something I started writing when I decided to rewrite book 1, which was set in Australia. It needed to be Americanized, so I thought about redoing all the characters. Nora Frost, the heroine, was born out of that rewrite.
*Basil's last name is Tinwhistle, but when I started writing about him, his last name was Tenpenny. I forgot that after I started focusing on edits for book 2. When I started a new draft of book 3, I wrote his last name down wrong, but it stuck.

When I'm not blogging here, I'm at Have Novel, Will Edit, on Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter.
Friday, March 15, 2013

New release: BLACK JAGUAR, Vijaya Schartz

BLACK JAGUAR, Book Three in the Chronicles of Kassouk series, was just released this month in paperback. The entire series has been available in eBook for a while, but now the first three novels are also available in print, so no excuses.

Available in all formats everywhere. Find it on Amazon HERE

Here is what it's all about:

Kahuel volunteered to sail away on his brother's Galleon to get away from a roguish past, and prove his worth as a prince. The last things he expects on this virgin land are tragedy, natives, or scheming Mutants.

Talina never saw a foreigner, until destiny brings to her shores baffling strangers who can't read minds... among them a prince, and the Lost Daughter of the prophecy. Her fate is about to change, but the Star People protecting her clan view the outsiders as a threat to their crucial experiment. Can Kahuel, with a few warriors and felines, save Talina and her people from a horrible fate?

Review:

"...spellbinding series with this fast paced story that ensnared me from the very start... I enjoyed watching the interaction of the humans with their feline friends and how they would do anything to protect each other. The visual descriptions of the jungle scenes brought them to life for this reader. I for one can't wait for the next book in the Chronicles of Kassouk series." - 5 stars - Fallen Angel Reviews

Here is the entire series:
Find it on Amazon HERE



Happy Reading.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

TANGO IN PARADISE

In the midst of selling one house, rushing down to Florida to purchase another place to live, helping Hubby adjust to retirement, and getting ready to move house, I've managed to finish and publish my next book.

TANGO IN PARADISE my action/adventure romance is now available from Amazon and Smashwords for $2.99.

Story Blurb:
At nearly 40, JASON BLACKHAWK feels too old to be working as a mercenary in the steamy jungles of South America. His mission - monitor the situation in the small country of Paraiso so the US government can decide whether or not to quell the rebellion and solidify the current dictator's regime. He can't let the right or wrong of the conflict concern him. He gave his word to his commander, the man who mentored him and saved him from wasting his life.

Looking for adventure and a change from her quiet life as a small town grade school teacher, 29 year old DARCY "DC" CAMDEN travels to Paraiso as a nanny for a businessman. Her idealism and compassion for the downtrodden populace draws her into supplying them with food and medicine. Her involvement increases and she agrees to help the rebels overthrow the dictator by hacking into his computer to find information they can use against him.

When the conflict escalates into war DC finds herself on the run with a man she doesn't know whether to fear or trust, hate or love.

Since I'm drowning in house sale/purchase details, I'm posting an excerpt instead of trying to force my burned out brain to come up with a clever blog.

Excerpt:


Hidden from view by the dense foliage, Jase watched the woman weave her way through the jungle. In seconds she broke out into the clearing.

Breathing hard, she leaned forward and rested her palms on her thighs. Sweat glistened on her bare arms and in the shadowy hollow between her breasts. Thick auburn hair tangled around her face and shoulders.

Who was she? And what in the hell was she doing here? Jase ignored the questions chasing around inside his head. The answers didn't matter. They couldn't matter. Her presence jeopardized his mission. "Tango. 10 o'clock," he whispered into the mike at his throat.

Silent as a snake, a man emerged from the jungle's edge and struck. The woman made no sound as Bull's big hand clamped over her mouth and nose and his arm wrapped vise-like around her slender waist. With her arms pinned to her side, she kicked, banging her sneaker-covered feet against him. She snapped her head back. The crack of her skull against Bull's sounded loud in the quiet jungle clearing. His hold didn't loosen, but the woman sagged in pain.

Jase slid from his cover and strode across the small clearing. The woman's green eyes lit with sudden hope as they met his then dimmed as he spoke to Bull.

"Anyone following her?"

"Three men. Couldn't tell which faction. But they want her bad."

"How close?"

"She lost them about twenty minutes ago by doubling back on her own tracks and taking to water."

Clever girl. Woman. Jase eyed her struggling in Bull's relentless grip.

Her eyes pleaded. Bull's large hand blocked any wisp of air from her straining lungs. Her struggle told the tale. She didn't want to die.

In another minute her wants wouldn't matter.

Over her head Bull's gaze asked for a decision. Live? Or die? The choice was Jase's.

Bull wouldn't blink as he snuffed the life from the woman's slight body. His ability to kill on command was why he was a part of this operation. A good man to have at your back; the wrong one to have as an enemy. A perfect soldier, he followed orders without question. And the orders came from Jase. Any guilt or remorse belonged to him.
Monday, March 11, 2013

Excerpt of Shrouded in Illusion

I've been wanting to get Shrouded in Illusion, the 3rd book in the Shrouded Series, done and published for far too long. It's done, but just needs a quick copy edit. Oh, and I almost forgot that it's missing a cover, which I have yet to be able to think about. lol

Between running my business, Bella Media Managment, working part-time as an accountant, volunteering at my local writer's chapter, not to mention family, writing seems to have been pushed to the bottom of the pile of things to do. I'm hoping to change that. Maybe if I start talking about the third book, I might just get focused to the point of putting writing first for a change. Below is an excerpt of Shrouded in Illusion.

** *** ***

David glanced over to where the croupier raked in her chips.  “That didn’t go well.”

“I expect to lose every now and then.  After all, when it comes to roulette, the odds are against me.” 

She shrugged, obviously not upset at dropping a couple hundred.  In his opinion, the woman was far too detached and in control of her every movement and expression to be anything but a pro, but she wasn't a regular.  He'd been performing at this casino for the last two months, and he'd have noticed her by now.

When he watched her lose two more times, David inwardly winced.  Over a thousand in less than fifteen minutes and not one bead of sweat on her brow.

David wondered if she handled sex with the same cool, controlled way she gambled.  Did that facade hide a wild side?  Did a touch, a word, send her over the edge?  Or did it take more?

She lost yet again.  By God, if his dad had been watching, the man would have had a coronary.

She glanced his way.  “Relax.”

David hadn’t realized he’d protested aloud.  “I guess my background’s showing.  Can’t seem to get rid of memories of being dirt poor as a kid.”

She wrinkled her nose, drawing attention to her freckles.  He really did like those freckles.  Or maybe he just liked them on this particular woman. 

“You don’t have to worry,” she assured.  I’m not throwing my savings away or stealing from my son’s piggy bank.”

“You have a son?” he asked in surprise.

“Yes.” 

The expression on her face didn’t change, but David sensed an immediate tension and wariness radiating from her.  Despite his curiosity, he decided to respect her privacy and veer off the subject of her son.

“You might not be throwing away your savings, but you’re tossing enough around that if you keep it up, management’s going to love you.”

Hey, if she wanted to waste her money, that was her business.  He wasn’t interested in her bank account, but her body on the other hand...

She glanced up at him.  This time he hadn’t been ogling her breasts, but his thoughts hadn’t been any better.  Twice now she’d caught him.  The woman must have a sixth sense when his mind hit the gutter.  

“Possibly.  But the evening’s not over.  I could go all night.  It depends.” 

At the double-entendre, his gaze sharpened, but her angelic expression gave nothing away.  Maybe he’d twisted her words into something he wanted to hear.  Then again, her mind might have dove into the gutter alongside his.  Wishful thinking perhaps...

“What’s your favorite number?”

At her abrupt question, he frowned.  “Seven.”

“Then seven it is.”

She placed her remaining chips on his lucky number. 

David stiffened.  “Are you sure you want to do that?”

“Don’t worry.  If I lose, I won’t come after you.”

David swallowed.  Another innuendo.  This one worse than the last.  If he kept this up--
Jesus.  There he went again--

“Watch,” she urged in a whisper.

David did.  The ball tumbled and clattered around the roulette wheel.  As the wheel slowed, the ball landed on seven and quivered as if struggling against some invisible force.  The wheel whispered to a stop and the ball stilled and remained on...seven.

Just like that.  She’d recovered her losses and added a couple of thousand to her pot.

“That’s amazing!” he exclaimed.  And strange.  The odds of something like that occurring were astronomical.  

“By God.  Talk about luck!”

“You think it’s luck?”  She searched his face, her expression growing serious.

“What else could it be?”

“I thought you might know.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

At the sudden, unnerving intensity of her gaze, David tensed, feeling strangely vulnerable. 

“Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.”  She shook her head and looked disappointed as she collected her chips.  

“I’ll see you around.”

She planned on cashing in, and David hadn’t even gotten her name.  “Hey, don’t go yet.  How about a drink?”

“Not tonight.”

She turned and didn’t give him another glance.

“Hey, tell me your name,” he called after her as he stood, acting completely out of character.  He didn’t chase after women.  And he sure the hell didn’t yell after them either.

She paused and glanced over her shoulder.  Their gazes caught.

“It’s Skye Hunter.”

Her name hit David as if someone slammed a fist into his face.  He stood unmoving, unable catch his breath, think or respond as he watched her turn back around and walk away.  Sudden sweat filmed across his brow and sent a chill racing across his flesh.  For a wild second he thought he was going to pass out.  He shivered and frantically searched his pockets.  He pulled out a roll of antacid tablets and stuffed two down his throat. 
Skye Hunter. 

Just saying the name in his head launched his heart rate into overdrive.  The crazy part of the whole thing--he didn’t know why.  He’d never heard it until she’d told him seconds before.

So then, why in God’s name did her name bother him so much?
Friday, March 8, 2013

Dead Upon Deadline

I am my children's mother. Before you burst a blood vessel trying to wrap your brain around that, let me explain.
My daughters and son wait until the very last minute of the very last day to turn in their papers.
Apparently it's genetic and those are my genes they're wearing.
Every mid-term, end of term we got through the same thing. Maybe you could plan better, get a  head start, you know a day or two would be nice.
Sure, they say and then we find ourselves in the same situation again and again and again.
Today, I was writing the last 4 chapters of my book that goes to the editor Saturday.
Why, why do I do this to myself?
After a second of soul searching (hello! deadline) I realize I writer better with a gun at my head, er, deadline looming. My thoughts are clearer, my prose tighter and the story is in my head 24/7, no down time between chapter. I see the goal post (even from 14 chapters away) and I'm running straight at it.
Sure there are occasionally other players on my field but a quick snarl and glint in my eye has them running away. Smart people.
Anyway, that's my story and I'll stick to it until I admit it's just a bad habit and I can break it. Thankfully, I don't have that on deadline:-)

So do you work better on a deadline or are you far better at time management?
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Series comes to an end

The last book in my Swords of Gregara series is out now.  I'm currently on a virtual book tour with it, hoping it will spark some sales and interest.  I want to share an excerpt and the cover which I'm in love with.  I hope you like them too.  I think this one is the best of the series by far.  Of course, I'm a little biased.  :-)

I'm a little lost now that it's over.  I'm trying to come up with the next series and I thinks it's going to be heroes rather than heroines whose stories I'll be telling.  This series will be about three male members of the Swords who follow escaped villains to Earth.  Of course, while they are here they'll meet their one true mate.   The first book will be set in San Diego.  I think the second will be in San Francisco and the third in Florida, maybe at Disney World.  That could make for some delightful chase scenes, trying to dodge Mickey and Minnie while running for It's a Small World.  LOL  Seriously, I don't know exactly where I'll set the third one except it will be someplace east.  Maine, maybe.  I've never been there, it would be a good research trip.

For my contest I'm giving one copy of the Centauri series book bundle.  It contains all three of the Centauri books, Centauri Dawn, Centauri Twilight and Centauri Midnight.  You can choose a paperback (sorry, US only0 or a kindle gift or a Smashwords coupon.

Leave me a comment to be entered in the contest.

Excerpt

“Oww” a woman’s voice awash with pain reached his ears.
“You disappoint me, Honora.  You continue to try to escape me.  When will you learn?” asked a whiney voiced man.
The whip struck flesh and the woman moaned but didn’t scream.  She didn’t scream.
When he woke again he was not alone.  Chained across the room from him, hung by her wrists, was a woman.  He could see the lash marks on her back.  Lash upon lash, new over old.  They obstructed the beautiful tattoo of a dragon on her back.
Crawling to her he released her hands from the chains holding her up.  She collapsed in a heap on the floor.  He crawled back to his side of the room as darkness overtook him once more.

*****

The dried blood on her back cracked with each movement, but she worked through the pain as she stretched.  Breathed deep and accepted the pain.
Her sword weighed heavier in her hand than usual.  More evidence of the lashing two nights ago.  She looked down at the unconscious man at her feet.  A new recruit.  A Zolthor like herself.  Another reason Perdor punished her for her attempted escape, her sixth try in as many months.
This last punishment was the worst.  Five lashes.  Not enough to incapacitate her but enough to make her remember.  Perdor wanted her to be able to train the new slave.  He wanted them to be a team, good enough to take on all contenders.  He’d be the only owner with two Zolthor fighting for him.  Not just one, but a team.  He was salivating at the thought of the coin it would bring.
Again she looked down on the naked man.  Long lashes lay against his cheek.  What color eyes did they hide?  Blue?  Green?  Brown perhaps.  She’d find out soon enough. 
He was a beautiful man.  Well formed.  Broad shoulders.  Trim waist.  Long muscular legs.  He looked like a warrior.  Would be a good fighter.  Maybe even a good lover as he appeared well endowed there as well.  
He’d awakened from the drug induced sleep long enough to crawl over and release her from the chains.  For that she was grateful.  Her wrists didn’t hurt as much as usual because of him.  Using her blades was easier than it had been after her previous punishments.
Time to wake up the sleeping man and get him trained.  Time was short and she intended to make the most of it.  He would learn or he would die.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Can't help writing about cats - by Vijaya Schartz

Plotting and writing my new novella in the Borealis series for Desert Breeze is a blast. Not from a blaster, although blasters are involved. True to tradition for my books with this publisher, I had to think of a cool cat as a character. Since I like to vary, I chose a cheetah.

I learned much about cheetahs in my research. I adored the Disney Movie African Cats. Such splendid animals cheetahs are.

Freckles is her name. She's cool and loves and protects my heroine, bounty hunter Akira Karyudo. Like her mistress, Freckles has a few upgrades. Hers are titanium fangs and claws, and a bullet-proof, slash-proof inner skin. After all, this is the 27th century, and all these upgrades should be available by then, for people and for trained, working animal companions.

The space station, however, is not exactly up to specs. Since the Trans Planetary Protectorate is in the middle of a war with rebel factions, the lack of maintenance made the old Borealis a bucket of rusting bolts at the fringe of conquered space.

Because of the covers already chosen for the series, the cheetah will not make it to the cover, like for my Chronicles of Kassouk series, where each cover features a large cat. But I'm having fun writing about Freckles.

Next time I'll tell you a little more about my samurai bounty hunter heroine, and her counterpart, my handsome rebel.

You can find all my books in kindle, most of them in nook, and a few in paperback as well. Just click on the links to find my page at each retailer:

 
 Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
Friday, March 1, 2013

Novel Ideas--You're Welcome



A fun thing I like to do on Facebook is post strange sci-fi news items that could be turned into a novel idea.

What's so cool is that one hundred different people taking the same new item will come up with one hundred different twists on the story. 

That's a sci-fi theme in itself.

Some past Facebook posts I've shared:



Implant Makes Mind Reading Possible In Rats. It begs the question--what if only rats could ever read minds and they came to know more than humans. 

I smell a...story. 

Scientists Create Zombie Cells, This Will End Poorly. Um, yeah. But imagining it played out will feed our craving for...zombie nosh. 



Scientists Create Sixth Sense Brain Implant To Detect Infrared Light. I sense that I see people who sense that they see dead people...

Mysterious Purple Spheres Found In Desert Spark Speculation. Alliteration aside, this has alien eggs written all over it.

Wanted: 'Adventurous Woman' To Give Birth To Neanderthal Man - Harvard Professor Seeks Mother For Cloned Cave Baby

Just kidding...or am I?

Well, there you have it. Plenty of bizarre, slightly repulsive ideas for your next novel.

You're welcome.  

  

 


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