It’s my pleasure to welcome award-winning author Vijaya Schartz to my blog today.

The Curse of the Lost Isle seriesproved difficult to place with a publisher, because of the number of genres it represented. It was not just historical, but medieval. It was romantic but had too much action and battle scenes to qualify as straight romance, and it was also fantasy because it was based upon authentic legends and myths, and involved a family of immortal (or very long lived) Celtic ladies related to Morgane the Fay. And as we well know, immortals are the stuff of legends.

Tour at Melusine-Fougeres

The setting and time period swept through several centuries, from Scotland during the Viking invasions, to the creation of Luxembourg in 963, the gold-rich hills of Forez, the mountains of Aragon, the first Crusade, Aquitaine, and the middle east during the Crusades… I had lots of research to do.

Born and raised in France, I had the advantage of language when researching this series among the folklore and legends of small French towns and villages, which in medieval times were thriving centers with fortresses, and a lot more important than they are today. It took many trips to Europe, which I also used to visit my family, and about a decade to piece together all the elements of my stories, so that they would make sense as a series.

Finally, I had a skeleton of story, settings for all the books in the series, important historical events for the backdrop, even a few authentic historical characters popping in, and I started writing. But I wanted the story to be realistic, and ring true enough for the reader to identify with the characters, beyond the great divide of time and cultures. I also wondered whether my readers, accustomed to my kick-butt heroines in science fiction settings, would follow me on this different path.

Roman Bridge, Dumfries,Scotland

Of course, my medieval heroines are just as strong. Immortals usually are. And I had written medieval stories before. Well, not really medieval, but an entire romantic science fiction series pitting a human medieval society against advanced technological races, titled the Chronicles of Kassouk. So medieval was already familiar to my loyal readers, and my bookshelves sagged with medieval research books.

But after all this preliminary work, the Curse of the Lost Isle series is finally out to a good start with PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE, published in March 2012 by Books We Love Ltd, and PAGAN QUEEN will follow later this spring. More books are expected to follow soon after. You can get an overview of the entire series on my website (click on medieval series at the top left)

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.

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.

Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims she comes from the future. Her books collected many five star reviews and literary awards. She makes you believe you actually lived these extraordinary adventures among her characters. Her stories have been compared to Indiana Jones with sizzling romance. So, go ahead, dare to experience the magic, and she will keep you entranced, turning the pages until the last line.

Find out more about Vijaya Schartz and her books on her website at: http://www.vijayaschartz.com