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Blog Archive

Monday, May 6, 2019

Are we becoming cyborgs? by Vijaya Schartz

The future is here. Many of us already have surgical implants, heart valves, pace-makers, artificial knees, bionic legs, hands and arms controlled by the mind. Some have artificial lenses in their eyes, cochlear implants to allow the deaf to hear. 



Science can now regrow in a lab new body parts or make them from biological material with 3D printers.

Babies can be born with the DNA of three parents. Animals have been cloned. Human cloning is illegal, but how long will it take for some governments to secretly grow their own human clones?



In China, tests have proven successful in creating improved babies by replacing DNA strands with stronger ones, or different ones. Soon, parents will be able to have designer babies, choosing the hair and eye color, the physical strength, the intelligence, the immunity to known diseases. 

Nanotechnology (tiny microscopic machines introduced in the blood stream) will allow us to repair or rectify any malfunction in the human body, cure any disease. Some day humans will be quasi-immortals... and part robots. Linking the brain to computers will increase the capacity of the human brain.



The next step will be to produce super-intelligent human beings, super-soldiers, special individuals adapted to live in  specific environments, like space, or on different planets.

These changes are happening quickly and soon, we'll have to deal with the problems of the future. We'll need new laws, new guidelines, to accommodate the progress of science. That's what makes science fiction fascinating.



And if you like reading futuristic fiction, you may want to try my latest series, Azura Chronicles, set on a tropical planet inhabited by angelic beings. amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo

  

There is a planet out in the universe, emitting a strange turquoise glow. A long time ago Azura refused to join the Trade Alliance. The Alliance sent their military fleet to destroy the Azurans, but their powerful supernatural abilities spread fear even among the fiercest Devil Dogs. Since then, records have been erased. Rumors and legends all but died. Azura is strictly forbidden, and the daring few who ventured beyond the warning space beacons were never seen again...

Vijaya Schartz, author
 Strong heroines, brave heroes, romance with a kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
 amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo  -  FB  -  

Monday, April 8, 2019

Adding the final touches to my next sci-fi romance novel - by Vijaya Schartz


I just finished the sixth or seventh rewrite of Black Dragon, to be released in June, the first book of a new series. It is set on a space station named Byzantium, featured in the Azura Chronicles series, and set in the same universe. Like all my novels, it has a lot of action, adventure, and romance… a courageous heroine, and a brave hero… as well as a spoiled telepathic cat, a white Angora named Marshmallow.

When I went searching for illustrations of my setting, here is what I found: 


 Polishing is my favorite part of writing a book. It has been read by my critique partners and beta readers, and now that I have the finished product, comes the task of making it shine. 

Polishing is the most important part of a writer’s job. It’s an art. It can turn a mediocre first draft into a decent read, and a great story into a fantastic book. But the lack of polish can also destroy a potentially great novel by washing it out, diluting it in too many words, and leaving it vague, ordinary, or forgettable. 

This is the time to deepen the characters, make sure their motivations are on the page, find the secret links and motivations you may have overlooked or understated, show, rather than tell, and deepen the point of view. Ramp up the emotion, or was poetic on some descriptions or feelings, make the setting part of the story, etc. 

The process will take me a month, then the book will go to the editor. If you want a taste, here is what it’s all about: 

Czerno Drake, AKA Black Dragon
A gambler is cheating in a den of the Byzantium space station, and Lieutenant Zara Frankel intends to catch him in the act. She always gets her man, but this one could prove more than she can handle. 

Captain Czerno Drake, code name Black Dragon, has come under cover to break his innocent uncle from the most secure penitentiary in the galaxy, the Fortress, on the Byzantium space station. He will stop at nothing to succeed, even enrolling the help of the lovely straight arrow GTA enforcer. When Zara realizes that she’s been duped by a shrewd but seductive Resistance fighter, her reaction surprises everyone, most of all herself. 

Zara Frankel, undercover security forces

A previous and much shorter edition several years ago, received this review: 

"I love this one by Vijaya Schartz. As always, her action-packed, well-plotted out prose kept me glued to the pages of Black Dragon from start to finish." TwoLips Reviews 5-kisses review and a RECOMMENDED READ


Vijaya Schartz, author
High Octane Romance with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com 
amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo  -  FB  - 
Monday, March 11, 2019

Imagining and writing the future - by Vijaya Schartz


You can’t stop the proliferation of technology. The visionaries warned us in the nineties that progress would require a severe loss of privacy. They weren’t kidding.

We already have AIs in our homes, who talk back and do our bidding. They tell us when to get the pie out of the oven, when to order more milk and when to change the air filters. They can also record our conversations. The cameras on our computers can be activated without our knowledge. Most houses have motion-activated cameras that capture the life of the entire neighborhood.

Self-driving cars are delivering our groceries.
We can clone body parts. Our cars drive us, not the other way around. We find our mates on dating sites that match our profiles. Our phones have become banking machines, movie screens, and a lifeline to all the people in our lives, whether we know them or not. Our daily lives are displayed for all to see and judge on Social Media. The authorities have access to all this information and our DNA can be used to solve cold cases... 

More and more teenagers who are not strong enough to sustain the pressure and the bullying on Social Media commit suicide. I see it as a gruesome reminder of what unchecked technology can bring to our lives. Or is a natural selection occurring, weeding out those unable to adapt?

Let’s face it. It’s a new era. Where will it stop? What will the future look like? Soon we might improve embryos in the womb, or grow babies in test tubes. We might even make ourselves more intelligent.

Human nature can adapt, but not as fast as our technology. I believe there will be a breaking point, and a severe backlash. Some visionaries believe in robot uprising. It could happen. Or the divide between the rich and the poor will cause a revolution and topple governments. Or a war, or a computer glitch will destroy most of the planet, and leave society in shambles. These are the usual themes of dystopian novels and movies, like the Hunger Games, the Divergent series, the Mad Max series, the Postman, the Terminator series, and many others.


I’m of the opinion that yes, some segments of society might rebel, and no, we will not destroy ourselves or lose all our technology. We shall adapt enough to survive. Then, when space exploration develops and becomes accessible to most, I believe many of us will sail into the unknown, like the adventurers who followed Christopher Columbus, like the pioneers who rode their wagons West. Some will look for riches, others for fame, for adventure, or for knowledge and the study of alien species. Others yet will look for a simpler way of life, for religious tolerance, for a chance to raise their family in peaceful surroundings.

Despite the rapid evolution of our technology, I believe we humans will slowly evolve, but our passions will remain the same. We’ll learn from our mistakes, we’ll love, we’ll fight for our freedom, and we will continue to do so, as long as the human race exists in this universe.

That’s why I enjoy writing the future. No matter what the technology becomes, humans will always be humans.

My latest novel, ANGEL FIERCE, is now available.
amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo

Something’s rotten on the angel planet. When Avenging Angels turn up dead, Urielle, their Legion Commander, suspects the handsome intruder brought unspeakable evil to Azura.

Maksou never met a woman he couldn’t seduce. He came to the forbidden planet to rescue his friends and get rich in the process, but the jungle crawls with lethal life forms… including a gorgeous warrior angel, who saves his life but keeps him prisoner and challenges his irresistible charm.

Urielle, sworn to protect Azura at all costs, has no use for a maverick who ignores the rules and endangers the planet… no matter how attractive. Especially when the Galactic Trade Alliance (GTA) wages a secret war to get their greedy hands on the priceless crystal at Azura’s core.

HAPPY READING!

Vijaya Schartz, author
 Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
 amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo  -  FB
Monday, February 11, 2019

ANGEL FIERCE, New Release February 2019 from BWL, by Vijaya Schartz


ANGEL FIERCE

Azura Chronicles Book 2
February 2019 - from BWL Publishing
amazon   -   smashwords

The story of Urielle the Avenging Angel, and Maksou, Fianna's young brother, both introduced in Book 1, Angel Mine.

All Maksou wanted was to rescue his trapped friends and get rich in the process. But this forbidden blue planet crawls with lethal life forms… including Urielle, a gorgeous angel of frightening power, who saves his life but shuns his irresistible charm.

Urielle, Legion Commander of the Avenging Angels, is sworn to protect Azura at all costs. She has no use for a maverick intruder who ignores the rules and endangers the planet by his very presence… no matter how handsome and charming. Especially when the Galactic Trade Alliance (GTA) wages a secret war to get their greedy hands on the priceless crystal at Azura’s core.

When immortal angels turn up dead, Urielle springs into action… and Maksou is in her line of sight.


Vijaya Schartz, author
 Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
 amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo  -  FB
Monday, January 14, 2019

The wonderful magic power of deadlines - by Vijaya Schartz

Deadlines can make you do what you thought was impossible. The first time I was given a deadline by a publisher, I panicked. It had taken me eighteen months to write my last book, and I only had six months for this one.  But I didn't want to miss this publishing opportunity, so I signed the contract. Then I realized what a great motivator that deadline provided.

Whether it’s a high stakes countdown in an action novel, or a self-imposed goal, or an imperative work time limit, for some reason, our subconscious treats deadlines like a do or die situation. Unlike new year resolutions, which tend to fade by February, deadlines can motivate us all year long.

If my critique partner didn’t come to my living room every week, I might not have my chapter ready, or the floor might not get cleaned as often. The prospect of taking pictures at holiday parties certainly motivated me to lose the three extra pounds I gained in early fall.



This month, I wrote “the end” on the second book in the Azura Chronicles series, making my January 1st deadline, and it’s a good feeling. Last year, without a specific deadline, it took me much longer to write the first book. I discovered that deadlines not only keep me on schedule, but they sharpen my focus on my story and characters. They force me to stay the course. Next to my wall calendar are reminders of my deadlines for next year. Three book releases. And because I have strict publisher deadlines, these books will be released on schedule.

So, instead of New Year resolutions, I suggest you give yourself deadlines. Keep the goals realistic and take control of your life. Using deadlines as a motivator, you will reach your goals, and get a great sense of accomplishment.

As for me, back to my newly finished novel. It’s polishing time, and this is my favorite part of the work. I wish you all a wonderful year in 2019.

ANGEL FIERCE, Book 2 of the Azura Chronicles is coming out in February. In the meantime, you can read ANGEL MINE, Book 1 in the Azura Chronicles series.

What in the frozen hells of Laxxar prompted Fianna to pursue her quarry to this forbidden blue planet? Well, she needs the credits... badly. But as if crashing in the jungle wasn't bad enough, none of her high-tech weapons work. She'll have to go native, after the most wanted felon in five galaxies. It's not just her job. It's personal.

Acielon has never seen an outworlder like this fascinating female, strangely beautiful, and fierce, like the feline predator loping at her side. He always dreamed of exploring the universe, despite the legends... and the interdiction. Is it truly a hellish place of violence, lies and suffering? If it spawned this intriguing creature, it must also be a place of wonders, adventure and excitement.

Fianna's instincts tell her someone is watching. Sheba, her telepathic feline partner, doesn't seem worried... yet, something on Azura isn't quite right.

"... fast-paced space adventure/romance with lots of twists, turns, and enough action to satisfy sci-fi enthusiasts... storytelling is imaginative and action scenes vivid... pleasing happily ever after that sets up a sequel." Ind'Tale Magazine.

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