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Monday, November 24, 2014

Kick-butt heroines of Sci-fi Romance by Vijaya Schartz

The wonderful thing about writing science fiction heroines, is that they can truly be whatever I want them to be. They don’t even need to be human. They take charge and operate beyond petty gender discrimination, wielding the power of true freedom... unless, of course, I blast an alien grenade into their sophisticated advanced society. That’s always fun to do. After all, without conflict, there would be no story.

But not all futuristic societies are advanced. Sometimes civilization goes backward, my heroine is whisked into a parallel universe (SNATCHED), alien intervention or human warfare destroys dreams of freedom. Then my heroines must restore balance to their world.

 Sometimes they are hard core military by choice, like Tia in Anaz-voohri or Zania in Snatched. Sometimes I like to throw them into the fray against their will and watch them flounder and cope, as I imagine the worst possible situations to defeat them. Of course, among all these great qualities of strength and courage, they also have flaws and weaknesses. They usually perform well under pressure... until I find their breaking point. Even then, I still want to be them.

I love my kick-butt heroines. Whether they wield a sword, like in the CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK SERIES, a blaster, or a bazooka, like in the ANCIENT ENEMY series, they confront their fears with courage, and after much suffering, they usually save the day... or the man they love, like in ALIEN LOCKDOWN.

Fiction reveals the writer’s soul. We usually write about what we know. Like my futuristic heroines, I’m a meditator, a fighter, a former gymnast, a skydiver, and a Martial Arts black belt (Aikido). I love Japanese swords and learned how to use them. I believe that even in future warfare, there will be a place for sharp blades. If an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) or a solar flare renders all electronics useless, say goodbye to your fancy weaponry. My heroines can still rely on a length of good steel.

No sniggering, erotica readers. The blade is meant to slay whatever soldier, tiger, or alien demon wants to ruin the day. Of course, there are sizzling love scenes in my books as well. My heroines do deserve their rewards. But I prefer to avoid dubious metaphors.

You can find all my titles in eBooks mostly everywhere in most formats. I also have a few available in print. Some are out of print and only available used. More print books are coming out soon. Find my titles on:

Here are a few titles to consider:

KICKING BOTS - Ancient Enemy Book Three

Dr. Melissa Campbell, head researcher at the San Francisco Center for Disease Control, asks an eminent colleague for help to protect her precious vaccine, one that could end the deadly alien plague. She didn't expect to get a crazy renegade like Bennett Sevastian for a bodyguard. She hates military types, and this genetically enhanced super-soldier is pure testosterone, hot-headed, quick-tempered, impulsive, impatient, and downright impossible. But these are dangerous times with riots in the streets, and rumors of alien invasion. In a breathless race against time, experience the decisive battle for humankind, one that will decide whether Earth belongs to humanity, or to a powerful alien race...

“As always, Ms. Schartz's dialogue is believable and authentic and her characters hero-worthy. I loved Melissa's smarts, compassion, and daring... a veritable thrill-ride, with some twists and turns... exciting, suspense… an unpredictable path that so engrossed me, I found it hard to put the book down. Great ending to a great series!” 4.5 lips - Two Lips Reviews
"Begins with a bang and keeps the fireworks coming. As much as Melissa and Bennett try to fight their feelings for each other, it is too strong for them to deny..." Sensual Reads - 4.5 stars - Sultry
"... Bennett. Sexy, balls to the walls Bennett. Ladies man, his own military militia and a devilish sense of humor. A sensational and fantastical alternate universe, painted and laid out for me with every wondrous word. I really enjoyed every lie and betrayal, every scary new path on their journey to get to the truth and save the world as they know it." Book Junkie
"I really enjoyed this book. Even though I hadn't read the previous two... I have always been interested in the mysterious disappearance of the Anasazi and this story nicely filled in the blanks... exceptionally well written. I am definitely going to have to find the previous books and check them out as well." - The Romance Studio - 5 hearts - very sensual.

Snatched from a post‑apocalyptic battlefield by galactic traders, Zania is sold to a clandestine ring of fighting Amazons, on a planet lush with green jungles and teeming with deadly felines. She resents the gorgeous and overzealous Viking champion, Svend, who saves her life but too easily accepts slavery. Adulated by a woman who claims to know her, hated by the jealous Amazon queen who fancies Svend, Zania seeks escape...
But Svend knows the price of rebellion, and on this seemingly peaceful planet, ruled and defended by machines, nothing is what it seems, not even Zania herself... Among the rumbles of a volcano threatening to explode, an insurrection is brewing, and no one is safe...

"...plot twists too numerous to list... Alternate Earths... Zania and Svend fight for their lives... spurned lovers... volcano... Can they find happiness when their world is coming apart?" - Sensual Reads - Sultry - 4.5 stars
"Brimming with action from the first page... ripe with hidden agendas, evil villains, toothy tigers, brave heroes, and cowardly sneaks. Oh! And do not forget, exploding volcanoes. A well-scripted adventure... thrills and chills on each new page... a diverse array of characters endowed with personality and pizzazz. Pick it up and prepare to be swept away in an escapade of intense science fiction excitement." - Laurie, Coffee Time Romance - 4 cups
"I loved this book... a great Sci-Fi Romance... action packed... mysteries and surprises everywhere... keep you wanting to continue reading to find out what happens... Even if you do not read much Sci-Fi romance, I would recommend this story... filled with characters you love and hate... will leave you satisfied in the end." - Paranormal romance Reviews


the year is 3033, and deep in the bowels of the underground galactic prison, something has gone terribly wrong. Rhonda Alendresis never wanted this prison job. When the civilians vanish and an earthquake damages the nuclear reactor, she must go down to repair it with Captain Perfect himself, Cole Riggeur, who always plays by the rules and never trusted a woman in his life. But deep in the underground penitentiary, the most wicked convicts in the Galaxy are loose, and a treacherous shape-shifter plans his revenge. Disconnected from the Garrison, against impossible odds, Cole and Rhonda now face their greatest challenge... trusting each other in order to survive.

"The action reminded me of an INDIANA JONES movie and the romance was equally intense." - Paranormal Romance Reviews

"...the fantastic anticipation only a ticking bomb can generate, I was enthralled from page one" - Ecataromance

"...suspenseful, gripping saga of survival, betrayal, and hope...the resourcefulness and courage that occurs when a person refuses to admit defeat and die."
- Fallen Angel Reviews - 5 angels

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
Friday, November 21, 2014

Will MockingJay Part 1 Deliver?

I was SUCH a huge fan of The Hunger Games, and gobbled up Catching Fire

Mockingjay--received on the day it was released, was such a bitter disappointment that I'm still not sure I'm over it! Admittedly, my expectations were in the stratosphere.

That said, it was still one of the best series I have ever read. 

I have enjoyed the films--which surprised me as they are wildly miscast--and will also see Mockingjay Part 1 soon. Since this is the part of the story that went south in the series, I'm actually hoping Hollywood's annoying habit of changing books up actually happens here. Please.

Because this story had so much potential. coulda been a contendah!

Will Mockingjay Part 1 deliver? Are you a fan of the series? A hater? Will you see the film this weekend? 
Friday, November 14, 2014

Do You Think You're A Normal Human? by Michele Callahan

Timewalker Chronicles, Book 5

Imagine…a soldier stands before you. Tall, dark and handsome, he’s seen thousands of battles. He’s smoking hot, honorable, scarred, and has dangerous superpowers that you can barely comprehend.

But this warrior is not from your neighborhood, or even your country. He’s from another time…and another planet. He followed the enemy through a wormhole to come to Earth over seven hundred years in his past to try to save humanity.

And he needs your help. Here’s where it gets tricky. You think you’re a normal human? Well, you’re not. You’re what the Immortals call a Timewalker…you just don’t know it. And with the knowledge, and the awakening of your dormant DNA, comes power. Lots of power.

Now what? Do you have what it takes to save the world and win the heart of this Immortal warrior? 
In WHITE FIRE, Emma Lawson is going to answer those questions the hard way. Keep your fingers crossed for her, because if she isn’t up to the task, Earth will fall, and life as we know it is over.
(Now, you can only imagine this scenario of you believe humans might have unknown superpowers. Well? Do you believe? What’s your superpower?)

 Red Night, Book #1 - FREE everywhere
White Fire, Book 5  Released Nov 9, 2014
   About White Fire:
Timewalker Chronicles (Book 5)
Ajax, The Lost King of the Immortals, sacrificed everything but his memories. After the Time Crux, the loss of his beloved Queen, and a horrifying defeat at the hands of the Triscani horde in the war on Itara, Ajax’s loyal crew played a desperate go back in time on Earth and try to change things. But they trusted the wrong man, and Ajax has spent the last seven hundred years locked in a prison with no key. The battle approaches at long last, yet he remains weak and tortured, a prisoner to his own dark power. He didn’t simply lose to the evil Triscani…he became one of them.

The Triscani spent centuries searching for Emma Lawson's soul. Their evil Hunters did everything they could to destroy her family's bloodline before she was ever born. They know who she is, so they hunt her. They know the power she yields, and they fear her. They know The Lost King will do anything to save her, and they would use his love to destroy him.

But Emma is human, not Immortal. She might be dangerously attracted to the newly freed Ajax, but her first priority is saving Earth from two warring Immortal races. Ajax believed himself in love with his Queen, but the woman he remembers no longer exists. This Timewalker will defy destiny, and she's not going to play by anyone's rules but her own.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Finding the Balance by S. E. Smith

Finding the Balance

By S. E. Smith


The past and the present collide when Jacob Tucker meets Allie Whitewater when he travels through Spirit Pass. Allie may be used to living between two worlds where she embraces both her Native American and her white heritage, but life is different in the 1870s. When Jacob's life is threatened by the rising conflict of the times, the Spirit Warrior in Allie rises up to fight for the man she loves.

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Finding the balance between writing and family isn't always as easy as it appears. It is far too easy to get sucked into the wonderful worlds we create as an author and forget about the wonderful one that we live in. As the holiday season gets closer, so does the pressure of trying to make sure that balance doesn't tip over and crash down on you.

The holiday season is often a stressful time for anyone. It is also a time to step back and take a deep breath. For me this year, there are a lot of first... This is the first year where I am my own boss. In June of this year, I resigned my position and jumped into writing full time. As any author knows, there is a lot more to writing, then just the story. My husband thought I would quit working 80+ hours a week when I resigned my full time job outside the home. Instead, I have been working at least that much or more. The biggest reason is because it doesn't seem like work. I am really enjoying the challenges of being my own boss and have no regrets.

One of the things I promised, though, when I quit my other job was that I would take care of me. I've been doing that... mostly. LOL. It is still a work in progress. I make sure that the treadmill and I meet once a day for at least twenty minutes. I have also been better a 'disconnecting' from my electronic devices on my date night and meet once a week with the girls from work for lunch. Still, it is easy to stay up late, get up early, and forget to eat regularly.

Cara has no idea that her new project would create a sense of panic, wonder, or hilarious consequences in the palace when she unveils it. Discover what happens when another Earth holiday is unveiled, with the help from a couple of mischievous Goddesses, the symbiots, and Dragonlings in A Dragonlings’ Haunted Halloween.
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As you can tell from my writing,  family and friends are extremely important to me. Our house during the holidays if filled with love, laughter, and lots of good food. Some of the hilarious things I write about in my stories are based on getting all the kids together. I love hearing my kids, who are adults now,  running around having Silly String fights, shooting Nerf darts at each other, or using the Light Saber Keychains as swords.

This season also brings my second grandchild into the world. My daughter is expecting in December and will need extra help. I plan to be there for her. I love the holidays and the music starts playing the day after Thanksgiving when the Christmas tree goes up. For me, the more, the merrier because that is what life is about... being there.
So, do I plan to write during this time, as well? Oh heck, yeah!! I would go crazy if I couldn't. It will just be around everything going on. I might not get as much written, but I'll continue to write. Merrick's Maiden: Cosmos Gateway Book 5 is scheduled for release on December 30, 2014. I also want to work on A Dragonlings' Christmas (if I can get it done) and would love to finish Milo and the Wizard's Ink, my second full length children's novel. This is one that my grandson has been asking for and it has a special place in my heart. It will have all the action, adventure, suspense, humor, and fantasy as my other books.
Some other projects I'm working on are my first Audiobooks. Hunter's Claim: The Alliance Book 1 has been released to excellent reviews. David Brenin is an excellent narrator. When I heard him reading Hunter's story the first, second, and third time, I had goose bumps on my arms. I had him also audition for Touch of Frost and Razor's Traitorous Heart. David captured the stories and the characters. Touch of Frost will be available any day. Razor's Traitorous Heart will be available in December.


Listen to a Sample of the stories 


I'm also excited about my second story in the Magic, New Mexico series. Taking on Tory will be released in the Taming the Alpha Box set with some of my favorite authors on December 9, 2014. There is a lot going on and not all creatures that go bump in the night, stay there. I hope you enjoy Tory and Simon's story. For more information, including the first chapter, click on the following link:
So, with all that is going on, you might ask... Where is the balance that you mentioned above? That is a great question. Once I figure it out, I'll let you know. I have to admit I love living in my many worlds, but I love living in my present one even more. The balance is making sure one does not overshadow the other and setting my priorities. That is the easy one. My family and friends will always come first. This way, I will continue to love what I am writing and so will my readers.
If you have ways that you keep balance in your life, I would love to hear about them. I love finding new ideas and strategies that help me lead a happier, healthier life. What you do may help me and others, so don't be afraid to share!

S. E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY and #1 International Amazon Bestselling author who has always been a romantic and a dreamer. An avid writer, she has spent years writing, although it has usually been technical papers for college. Now, she spends her days and weekends writing and her nights dreaming up new stories. An affirmed “geek,” she spends her days working on computers and other peripherals. She enjoys camping and traveling when she is not out on a date with her favorite romantic guy.

Readers can learn more about my books and sign up for my newsletter at to hear about my latest releases or keep in touch using the following links:
Additional Books by S. E. Smith
Paranormal and Science Fiction short stories and novellas
For the Love of Tia (Dragon Lords of Valdier Book 4.1)
A Dragonlings’ Easter (Dragonlings of Valdier Book 1.1)
A Dragonlings’ Haunted Halloween (Dragonlings of Valdier Book 1.2)
A Warrior’s Heart (Marastin Dow Warriors Book 1.1)
Rescuing Mattie (Lords of Kassis: Book 3.1)
Science Fiction/Paranormal Novels
Tink’s Neverland (Cosmo’s Gateway: Book 1)
Hannah’s Warrior (Cosmos’ Gateway: Book 2)
Tansy’s Titan (Cosmos’ Gateway: Book 3)
Cosmos’ Promise (Cosmos’ Gateway: Book 4)
Ha’ven’s Song (Curizan Warrior: Book 1)
Abducting Abby (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 1)
Capturing Cara (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 2)
Tracking Trisha (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 3)
Ambushing Ariel (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 4)
Cornering Carmen (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 5)
Paul’s Pursuit (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 6)
Twin Dragons (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 7)
River’s Run (Lords of Kassis: Book 1)
Star’s Storm (Lords of Kassis: Book 2)
Jo’s Journey (Lords of Kassis: Book 3)
Touch of Frost (Magic, New Mexico Book 1)
Taking on Tory (Magic, New Mexico Book 2)
Choosing Riley (Sarafin Warriors: Book 1)
Hunter’s Claim (The Alliance: Book 1)
Razor’s Traitorous Heart (The Alliance: Book 2)
Gracie’s Touch (Zion Warriors: Book 1)
Krac’s Firebrand (Zion Warriors: Book 2)
Paranormal and Time Travel Novels
Indiana Wild (Spirit Pass: Book 1)
Spirit Warrior (Spirit Pass Book 2)
Lily’s Cowboys (Heaven Sent: Book 1)
Touching Rune (Heaven Sent: Book 2)
            Excerpts of S. E. Smith Books
If you would like to read more S. E. Smith stories, she recommends Abducting Abby, the first in her Dragon Lords of Valdier Series or if you prefer a Paranormal or Time Travel with a twist, you can check out Lily’s Cowboys or Indiana Wild.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Christmas Gift

It's November and even though Halloween is barely past and Thanksgiving has yet to arrive, Christmas seems to be in the air. Heck, Christmas decorations started appearing in the stores in August.

I love Christmas - the lights, the decorations, the carols, gift giving and receiving. I love the hustle and bustle of shopping, cooking, and baking, and visiting with friends and family. But during this hectic season of joy there's often little time left to relax and read.

So to help celebrate the season and give my readers something to help them slow down and relax for a few minutes, I'm offering my sweet, contemporary, romantic short story A KITTEN FOR CHRISTMAS for FREE from Amazon 11/19/14 through 11/23/14. At around 6,000 words, it's just short enough to read while waiting for your pie to finish baking.

Two Christmases ago when Dani Martin lost her parents and fiance in a car accident she gave up on love. Jackson Connor has finally realized his dream of owning a farm when he's presented with the result of a one-night stand he had years ago - a son. On Christmas Eve, can a snow storm, a little boy, and a kitten bring together two lonely, damaged people?

"This story had me from "Kitten" and "Christmas." And I love stories with a cute child, too. The heroine was fully fleshed and so was the hero. I even liked the short length. The beginning had me turning pages, and the ending left me smiling. It was the perfect story to read at the end of a busy day." E. Ramer

"This is a cute short story. So much so that I've tried to read all of Elysa Hendricks books about Council Falls." Bernie 

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and A Safe and Happy New Year!
Elysa Hendricks

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Ad Astra --To the Stars

The commercial spaceship test flight ended in tragedy this week, but I am not concerned this is the end of space exploration. One day, probably not in my life time but perhaps in my grandchildren's, we will have a space colony somewhere. Maybe a station on the moon, maybe on Mars. Maybe both.

I think it is human nature to expand. When a inhospitable environment is encountered, humans learn how to adapt to it. How many places on our own planet require all kinds of modifications to make them livable! Even where I live in Wyoming--it gets cold here! Not all the water is potable, some is poisonous. The topsoil is thin and easily blows away in the driving wind so this is not garden country. Vast swaths of land are nearly treeless, so wood for fuel and shelter was scarce.Yet humans have lived in this area for centuries. They burned buffalo chips, and built shelters of hide stretched around thin tree trunks they could find.

How many other places are difficult , even deadly?

Mars One plans to set a colony on Mars as early as 2025. People will live there, raise families, look forward to holidays and packages from home. They may take pets or small livestock and have affection for them. Think of the human stories, and yes, the romances that can and will grow. Teenagers will know all the nooks and crannies to find places to hang out with their friends. Someone will know how to make alcoholic beverages. Eventually they will need to learn to make their own shelters, be independent of Earth, self sufficiency will be important.

After Mars, what's next? Generational ships hurtling to an inhabitable planet somewhere? In a hundred years, will that be within reach?

Exciting times.

~ Melisse Aires

Who We Are

This tells about us.