Monday, November 12, 2018

Writers, too can be artists - by Vijaya Schartz

You take a picture of a building, and it’s just a building. Then you see a photograph of that same building in an art gallery, and it’s art. What makes it art? It’s the same building. But the artist waited for the perfect time at sunset, when the light hit the pillars just so, and the sun glanced off the metal roof, and the color of the sky echoed that of the turning leaves on the surrounding trees. Then the artist chooses a different angle, and the entire tableau takes another dimension. When you look at art, you are moved. You feel something.

 



You take a selfie, and it’s a portrait. But someone talented will play with light and shadow, maybe choose a black and white medium. And will speak to you and make you feel something, so that the portrait will look happy, or haunted, or sad, or intriguing. It’s still your face, but in the hands of an artist, it became art.

  



Similarly, a painting can be flat and inexpressive, while another painting of the same subject will make you feel something. People loved or hated the great painters of their times because they made them feel. And sometimes these feelings were uncomfortable. Hatred and guilt are strong feelings. Picasso had many enemies before being recognized as a genius. True art brings emotion to the person experiencing it.
Degas

Picasso

Gaugin

A movie documentary can be informative without emotion. But an artist will make that documentary poignant and get the audience to stand up and cheer and clap at the end. A fictional movie will use music to set the mood, and sounds and special effects to make the audience feel anticipation, fear, love, victory, etc.

And so it is with a novel. It can be a series of actions from characters in a setting, or it can be a true experience for the reader. We are painting with words, expressing emotions to make the reader feel, and our novels become a work of art.

So the secret for a writer is to feel deeply. Only then can we use words to make the reader feel and care about our characters and our stories. But like with any art, there is also a technique, like there is for painters, photographers and film makers. And it takes practice to master the technique. The secret to get the feelings on the page is in the details. A description will fall flat if it doesn’t include visual as well as other important sensory details. Smells, sounds, touch, taste, and visual effects, as well as the physical sensations experienced by the character in the story will evoke the same reactions and awaken the same feelings in the reader.

After reading ASHES FOR THE ELEPHANT GOD, readers told me they could feel the heat, smell the flowers and the spices, and hear the music, and taste the foods of India. They felt transported to another place, another time, another culture. It’s because I brought my own love of India to the pages of the book, and because I felt it, I was able to bring it to life in the writing and make the reader feel it as well.

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

Friday, October 5, 2018

Writers and their cats - by Vijaya Schartz


As far as I can remember, I loved cats… and writing. I wrote poetry in first grade, around the same time I brought my first stray home. At the time my father didn’t allow us to have pets, but since then I adopted many cats… and I kept writing. I still write, and I still have a cat. 

Some say writers like cats because they are non-intrusive. I beg to differ. Even right now, my cat is begging for me to stop this computer nonsense and pay attention to her. 



Others say cats are the perfect writer’s pet because they sleep a lot and they like daily routines. That part is true. There is a time for me to write. That’s when my cat sleeps. Right now, it’s TV time and I’m still writing, that’s why my cat is so upset. 

Cats are independent, and the epitome of indifference. That part is usually true, unless it’s tuna time, or close to tuna time, or two hours before tuna time, or three in the morning and she decides it’s tuna time. 

My cat's favorite camouflage blanket

So, if cats are just as demanding as other pets, why is it so many famous writers had cats and adored them? My rational opinion could be that cats are quieter than dogs and don’t need to be walked, but I believe it goes much deeper than that. Cats are intriguing, challenging, smart, and obstinate. They tickle our muse. And if I have a question, I can always ask my cat. She will give me the right answer. 

Here are some other reasons why great writers loved their cats: 

"A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not." Ernest Hemmingway 

"I write so much because my cat sits on my lap. She purrs so I don't want to get up. She's so much more calming than my husband." Joyce Carol Oates 

"That's the great secret of creativity. You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you." Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing 

"I simply can't resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the girl you love, of course." Mark Twain 

"I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat." Edgar Alan Poe 

"When a Cat adopts you there is nothing to be done about it except to put up with it and wait until the wind changes." T.S. Elliot 

There is a cat in my latest novel, a telepathic cougar, the companion of my kick-butt bounty hunter heroine. If you haven’t read it yet, pick it up and enjoy.

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.

"I don’t know how Vijaya continues to write books that both aggravate you to no end and keep you on the edge of your seat. You can’t put it down until you know what happens next. Before you know what happened, you are at the end of the book and wondering how you got there so fast. It is hard not to get caught up in and lost in the imagery created on the pages of the locations. You can even smell what is in the air. Yet another page turner I couldn’t put down! Thank you Vijaya for keeping me entertained." 5-stars - Beverley J. Malloy on amazon

HAPPY READING!

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

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The vicissitudes of remaining published - by Vijaya Schartz

Yes, publishing companies do close their door, and more often than you think. Here are some of my sci-fi romance titles recently republished with new covers, after their previous publishers who closed their doors.



You have slaved for months if not years writing the perfect book. After pitching it at conferences and being rejected by many agents and publishers, you are finally accepted by a small publisher. They love your book. They want to publish it. After doing your happy dance, you sign on the dotted line, and soon you will be a legitimate published author. Congratulations. Now, you are a professional author, with deadlines, edits, and promotion strategies. Finally, friends and family will take you seriously as an author. You are on your way.

Small publishers are wonderful, and I love them. They take chances with mixed genres, like sci-fi romance and medieval fantasy romance. They provide the same services as a large publisher with editors, cover designers, some marketing… and they get your books out in the world, in all formats, on all retail sites, and in print… although the print is sometime on demand.

It means that they are ecologically responsible, but most likely, your local bookstore will refuse to order that book for its shelves… because most print on demand books are non-returnable, and chain bookstores refuse to stock them. They still operate on the newsstand magazine model, where what didn’t sell that week or that month goes straight back to the publisher.

Never mind the naysayers. You are happily published. You love your cover, the book does sell copies in the first month. Your social media friends are buying it. You had a successful book signing in an independent (or second hand) bookstore, and you are writing the sequel. You are living the dream.

I forgot to tell you, the weakness of small publishers is that they are small, usually operated by a handful of people, but owned only by one or two of them, who are in charge and oversee the entire operation. Without them, the company cannot survive.

As you all know, life has a way of throwing off the best laid plans. Even in a large publishing company, if your editor goes on maternity leave and decides to stay home and raise her child, you may not get along with your new editor. He/she may not like your book as much or have a different idea of what your characters should be. He/she might request changes that will make you cringe. Unfortunately, you are locked into a contract, and your only option is to grin and bear it.

But when the main operator of a small publishing company has a life-altering accident (like it happened for Sapphire Blue Publishing after a few years) or is diagnosed with a serious health problem and can no longer handle the stress of running the company, (like it happened last month with Desert Breeze Publishing after a decade of success) the small publisher will have to close their doors.

That will make you an orphaned author, with orphaned books most established publisher will shun, because they are last year’s chutney… Of course, you get your rights back. Which means you could self-publish your orphans, or, if you are lucky, find another small publisher who will love them, like it happened for me with BWL Publishing. It’s all part of an author’s life.

If you lose your publisher, don’t despair. Keep writing. Nothing like a new release to lift your spirits. And this new publisher of yours might like your new book so much, they’ll ask you if you have anything else ready to go. Then you can pitch them your little orphans.

I was lucky that way. White Tiger was published several times by different publishers. The last one was Desert Breeze, where it became a series. But this book is in its twilight, and next time, I’ll republish that series myself, just to keep it available online. Aren't the covers stunning?



Two of my Desert Breeze sci-fi orphans, however, will be republished next year by BWL Publishing, for whom I’m currently writing the new Azura Chronicles sci-fi series. These two, set on a space station, will be a spin off from the Azura Chronicles. Of course, I’ll be rewriting these orphans to fit in the new universe I created for BWL Publishing, then add new titles to both series.

It sounds like a lot of work, but I think authors like challenges. I’m excited about re-writing these. Sci-fi was my first love and creating new universes is my thing. I also like kick-butt heroines, brave heroes, and cats. So, get ready for more sci-fi romance coming from Vijaya Schartz in 2019 and 2020.

In the meantime, you can read ANGEL MINE, Book 1 of the Azura Chronicles.

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.

"I don’t know how Vijaya continues to write books that both aggravate you to no end and keep you on the edge of your seat. You can’t put it down until you know what happens next. Before you know what happened, you are at the end of the book and wondering how you got there so fast. It is hard not to get caught up in and lost in the imagery created on the pages of the locations. You can even smell what is in the air. Yet another page turner I couldn’t put down! Thank you Vijaya for keeping me entertained." 5-stars - Beverley J. Malloy on amazon

Happy Reading!

Vijaya Schartz, author
http://www.vijayaschartz.com

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Living on a futuristic space station by Vijaya Schartz

Imagine debarking from a spaceship into a vast array of wide corridors like an airport terminal. Except that the entryway seals are hermetic, and the side windows show black space, with spaceships anchored to the giant circular wheel encircling the space station, like the rings of a planet. The station floats in space, orbiting a small planet. Or it could be in the wide orbit of a faraway sun. The station, built and expanded over centuries, would be made of many different parts, some older, others brand new. Size is irrelevant in space. It can be as big as needed.

This is how I imagine Byzantium-5, the space station featured in the Azura Chronicles

First, you would notice the lighter gravity. You might even get sick. If you spent much time in space, it would be familiar, but if you came from a heavy world like Earth, the change would be noticeable. You would probably grow taller over time, as gravity doesn't pull you down as much, but your bones might grow lighter and weaker.

Hundreds of miles of corridors in a wide circle around the core. Fortunately, there are also levitating cars and carts to carry the luggage.

Hundreds of thousands could live there. Even millions. They would have room for growing food without dirt in hydroponic tubs, they would manufacture artificial meat in labs, without raising animals, and they would make their own water and their own oxygen. The complex would function like a large city, not bound by the planetary cycles of day and night... although they may want to create a semblance of circadian rhythm for the comfort of their visitors and inhabitants.

Parks and gardens would provide oxygen and relaxation

The station could be a port for trading goods, with commercial docks and cranes to load and unload large containers from ships to dock and vice-versa. It could also be a pleasure destination. I imagine a Vegas type of atmosphere, with entertainment, gambling dens, spas, shopping, restaurants, and all the luxuries we imagine in the future, like cyber-pleasures... the legal and the illegal kinds. I personally like the idea of sex robots.

Here the scale is misleading. The craft would be tiny as it approaches the behemoth of a station

By the time we get to that level of sophistication, we may have made contact with other space-faring races, and that might bring diversity (and possibly discrimination) into our advanced society.

Such a place would need tight security. Space is not the safest place. There would be corruption, gangs, drugs, terrorism, and individuals striving for control. Delinquents would be detained in jail-like areas. There might even be a prison, but who needs metal bars when a clear titanium pane can do the trick?

Glass is not resistant enough and too breakable for these windows. I imagine they are made of transparent metal
At the core of the structure, would be a reactor to generate the energy needed to keep that city in space running smoothly. As we know, reactors can become unstable. More fodder for future stories.

But what would happen to those forgotten by the system? Orphans growing on the fringe of the affluent society, escapees, and stowaways might be reduced to hide in disaffected parts of the station and form their own society. They might steal in order to survive. So far from central power (and from the overseeing authority), such a community might recourse to shortcuts, unethical practices, and oppression of the underprivileged.

Although this is a futuristic design for a train station, I imagine the style would fit a space station as well

As you see, the world of tomorrow may not be so different from ours, because no matter how many advances we make in science, health, and space exploration, human nature doesn't change that much.

It's all about survival, and the balance of good and evil. And that controversy will not soon be resolved, so there is plenty of fodder for upcoming science fiction novels.

In the meantime, you can learn more about life on a space station by reading the Azura Chronicles. Book 1, ANGEL MINE is already out and Fianna, my heroine, is a bounty hunter. But she was born on the Byzantium-5 space station, orphaned as a teenager, then survived with the protection of a violent gang, the Dragon Squad.

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.


HAPPY READING

Vijaya Schartz, author
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
Click to Vijaya's page on AMAZON - B&N - smashWords - KOBO 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

99cts for a limited time: PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE, medieval fantasy romance


99cts on smashwords HERE


For a limited time only, PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE, Book One of the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy series, is only 99cts in all ebook formats.

This book is also available in paperback from B&N and amazon.

"If you like your medieval romances spiced with a little sword and sorcery, like the Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, you'll love Vijaya Schartz's Princess of Bretagne." 

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.

Princess of Bretagne - Book One

806 AD - Alba (Ancient Scotland) - As the Vikings raid the coast of Alba, Pressine of Bretagne sets out to seduce King Elinas of Dumfries, chosen by the Goddess to unite the tribes against the foreign invader. Elinas, still mourning his departed queen, has no intention to remarry. Head-strong and independent, Pressine does not expect to fall for the very attractive, wise and noble ruler... Furthermore, her Pagan nature clashes with the religious fanaticism of the king’s Christian heir, who suspects her unholy ancestry and will stop at nothing to get rid of her.

"Schartz paints a realistic picture of life in a medieval castle, with all its smells, tastes, visuals, and feelings, and as always, all the primary, as well as the secondary characters are well-developed and interesting. I’m looking forward to the others in this series." - Manic Readers 4.5 stars

"The exciting battles and period details also drew me in as did the intrigue surrounding Elinas' son trying to prevent him from marrying Pressine. Overall, Princess of Bretagne was a solid story that I enjoyed reading. I'm very much looking forward to finding out what's next for Elinas and Pressine when the series continues with the release of Pagan Queen." - 4 stars - The Hope Chest Review

"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... Look for the just released PAGAN QUEEN, to continue the saga of these two lovers." - Four ribbons - Romance Junkies. 

Find these books on the author's page at:amazon - B&N - KOBO SmashWords

Monday, July 16, 2018

Robots against angels? Who would win?


As I'm actively writing the second book in the Azura Chronicles sci-fi romance series, I did not abandon research. On the contrary, even after creating an entire world, research is my main focus. Not only it helps me find new elements and threads to explore in the new story, but it opens so many possibilities...

Of course, I do enjoy the research. Who wouldn't like bingeing on the latest sci-fi movies and series (thank goodness for cable), reading great books and watching interviews of scientists on the advances of cybernetics, and the psychological consequences threatening future societies?

I love my job. Especially when the creative juices take me in unexpected directions. Book 2 will also have a big cat of a very different kind. I love researching cats.

Cybernetics, will you ask? Maybe I already said too much. But it's the future, after all, and I can't wait to pit angels against robots. This world of Azura also has a predatory fauna. Which side will the nightcrawlers take? And what role will my new kick-butt heroine and her brave hero take in this new adventure?

But I already said too much. As I work on Book 2, you are welcome to enjoy Book 1, ANGEL MINE. Each book is a standalone, but if you are like me, you'll want to know what happened before in this world of Azura.

ANGEL MINE: 5-stars
find it on amazon

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.


"I don’t know how Vijaya continues to write books that both aggravate you to no end and keep you on the edge of your seat. You can’t put it down until you know what happens next. Before you know what happened, you are at the end of the book and wondering how you got there so fast. It is hard not to get caught up in and lost in the imagery created on the pages of the locations. You can even smell what is in the air. Yet another page turner I couldn’t put down! Thank you Vijaya for keeping me entertained."  5-stars - Beverley J. Malloy on amazon

Happy Reading!

Vijaya Schartz
  High Octane sci-fi fantasy romance with a kick
  http://www.vijayaschartz.com
  Amazon - Barnes & NobleSmashwords -
 KoboFacebook 


Monday, May 14, 2018

New release - ANGEL MINE, sci-fi romance by Vijaya Schartz

New Realease
kindle  paperback - nook
ANGEL MINE
Azura Chronicles Book 1
by Vijaya Schartz

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.

 MORE ABOUT THIS NEW SERIES:


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
  High Octane sci-fi fantasy romance with a kick
  http://www.vijayaschartz.com
  Amazon - Barnes & NobleSmashwords -
 KoboFacebook

Monday, May 7, 2018

Researching angels for science fiction - by Vijaya Schartz


What are angels? Really... Since they do not come from this earth, it's safe to say they are extraterrestrials... or are they?

Different versions of the Christian Bible name a few, but other ancient sacred texts, like the Zohar, the Torah, the Koran, and the Vedas have long lists of angels who descended to earth to deliver messages, warnings, to teach, test, or punish man.





Angels are legion, as I discovered in my intensive research. Some like Gabriel and Raphael are messengers (which is the root meaning of the word angel), others like Michael who chased Adam and Eve out of Eden with a flaming sword and destroyed the serpent, and Uriel the Avenging Angel, are wielding deadly weapons.

 
But there is also Lucifer, the brightest angel and mutinous leader cast away for wanting to impart advanced knowledge to the lowly human race. The records also list over a thousand good angels, fallen angels and demons.



The sex of angels has long been debated. Even as the tower of Babel fell, that was the topic of conversation among the wisemen of the time.

As for the Watchers, sent to watch over mankind, they were the ones who found the daughters of man beautiful and took them for wives... They mated with human females, producing the Nephilim, and triggering God's wrath in the form of the great flood, to destroy their shameful progeny... although a few survived. The giant Goliath is believed to be descended from such hybrids.



As I imagine a celestial power ruling the universe, it would have to be organized. My research indicated that there is a very strict hierarchy among angels, like in a military order. There are archons in charge of entire planets, archangels, and many categories of angels whose descriptions vary. Some have multiple pairs of wings, while others look completely human. Others yet have multiple heads, animal heads, and others yet look more like machines with turning wheels.

The two angels who warned Loth and his family of the imminent destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah looked like perfect human beings (no wings) and the depraved denizens of the city found them so beautiful they wanted to buy them for sexual pleasure.

Where do all these angels reside? The universe is a big place and a spaceship would not be enough to contain entire legions. I would surmise there are planets out there, inhabited and ruled by angels.

For the sake of my new series coming very soon (May 2018), AZURA CHRONICLES, one of these planets is AZURA. And what happens there is mysterious indeed. In book One, ANGEL MINE, my heroine, Fianna is a bounty hunter pursuing her mark, a convicted multiple murderer who just escaped from a high security penitentiary on a space station.

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.

Vijaya Schartz
  Action, Romance, Mayhem
  http://www.vijayaschartz.com
  Amazon - Barnes & NobleSmashwords -
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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Why I love Science Fiction, by Vijaya Schartz




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I would love to write a story where the problems we tackle today are faraway in the past, where children are safe, where women are equal to men in every way, where race or species do not matter, where people live long lives free of diseases, where everyone feels appreciated and loved, where society takes care of all its members regardless of age or status, where greed is irrelevant, where power has no meaning.

Keep dreaming. We are not angels.


Even as I envision the far future, I cannot imagine that human nature will evolve that much. Changing the laws for the better, yes. Treating everyone fairly or else, yes. Increasing longevity and good health, yes. So, what's the problem?

Have you noticed that when a refined society falls, it only takes days for it to reverse to bloodshed, savagery and oppression? Take away our power grid, food distribution, and communication systems, and we reverse to bloody savages fighting over the last water bottles and cans of tuna.

I like to think I would be one of the good guys, helping those who cannot help themselves. But I cannot condemn the mother picking up a gun to feed and protect her family, the older brother killing human predators to protect a younger sister. Then eventually, small groups get together around a leader to defend and organize themselves. New towns form, and new nations are born. Eventually they war against each other, then unite again... until a natural or man-made disaster sets them back to the dark ages.


I suspect the future will not be any different. Our very nature is emotional, volatile, ruled by self-preservation. As long as we carry these aggressive genes necessary for survival, we will fight. When we lose these genes, the human race will wither and disappear. So as long as there is a human race, we will fight for survival. The means of destruction and the weapons may change, but the motivations will remain the same.

This is why I enjoy science fiction so much. It's a magnifying glass to experiment with new ideas and build new worlds, and observe the far-reaching consequences of our actions. It's a learning tool to guide us into a better future. It may help us make better decisions.

In the meantime, I just finished some edits on the first book in a new romantic sci-fi series: ANGEL MINE. It's set on Azura, a planet populated by angels, an ideal society at odds with the harsh reality of intergalactic greed and domination... but no society is ever ideal. The heroine is a bad ass bounty hunter, and the hero is an angel... what else?

ANGEL MINE is set for release in May 2018 from BWL Publishing. Here is the blurb:

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

Hope you will enjoy this new series.
Happy Reading.

Vijaya Schartz, author
Romance with a Kick
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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Writers and Chocolate - by Vijaya Schartz

The young heroine in these books loves chocolate. See all of Vijaya's bookshttp://www.vijayaschartz.com
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I recently autographed my books at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire just before Valentine's day. It made me think about chocolate and its influence on our society. But more interestingly, is it a health food? or is it responsible for weight gain?
Vijaya Schartz holding her latest BWL release, ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN
Writers are addicted to it... so are most readers. We are all guilty of this indulgence. Chocolate is addictive... but did you know it's also a health food?

The pre-Columbian rulers of Central and South America drank it and called it the food of the gods. It was said to keep them young, healthy, and beautiful. 

When the conquistadores brought it back to Europe it quickly became a sensation.

It was a favorite drink at the court of the French king Louis XIV and a beverage reserved for the ruling class. It's only in the 20th century that it spread to the working classes and became a favorite winter drink for all.

There are many ways to drink or eat chocolate. Not all are healthy. My Tai-Chi teacher drinks it with a little Cayenne pepper. Excellent for the heart.

Is chocolate really a health food? Did you know that eating a small piece of 100% dark chocolate every single day will keep your hair from falling? But there is a catch. To be effective as a health food, chocolate should not be mixed with a lot of sugar or other carbohydrates. Sorry. No chocolate cake or candy will do the trick. Only pure dark chocolate will do. I love it. It's a little bitter... an acquired taste. But hey, it works for me.


Chocolate is also touted to be a mood enhancer and I tend to agree.

Wishing you all a wonderful end of winter, with lots of hot chocolate.

Vijaya Schartz
  Action, Romance, Mayhem
  http://www.vijayaschartz.com
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