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Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Genesis of a Book - The Curse of the Lost Isle series by Vijaya Schartz

Curse of the Lost Isle Book 4
Medieval Fantasy Romance
by Vijaya Schartz

The Genesis

In the French countryside where my father was born, the birth place of Merlin, near Broceliande, legends of Melusine the Fae abound. She lived notoriously in Lusignan in the 12th Century, built the tower of Vouvant in one night to save the villagers from the invaders. Wherever you turn, you see the legendary ondine gracing the signs of the local taverns, the bakery, the museum. There, Melusine is alive, and part of history as well as legend. But very few are familiar with the entire scope of her story.

While visiting the Melusine Museum in Vouvant, years ago, I came upon a special exhibit that included a puzzling tapestry. It depicted the wedding of Sigefroi of Luxembourg with Melusine, in 963 AD. 963? The Melusine I had come to know had lived centuries later. How was this possible? Then I discovered many more legends of Melusine, her mother, and her two sisters, in the local folklore of various European localities at different times in history. As if the same family of Fae, immortal by nature, had survived through the centuries, each time with the same personality, each time afflicted by the same curse, for abusing their supernatural powers in childhood...

Excited by that discovery, I set upon a decade of research to connect all the dots. Yes an entire decade. While writing other books, I actively pored over ancient translations, old texts, I traveled to France to tiny libraries and museums holding on to their local legendary roots... until I put together the many pieces of that incredible puzzle, to uncover the entire picture. Only then did I understand what I had... enough fantastic material to write the most exciting medieval fantasy series.

My agent was very excited and prompted me to write the series. But publishers at the time did not receive it well. They thought the readers would not buy medieval fantasy... unless it was vampires. Well, my immortals are not vampires. Finally, a Canadian publisher, Books We Love gave this series a chance last year, and I am grateful. Four books are out right now, with a fifth to be released around the holidays. More will follow as the tapestry of the entire legend unfolds.

The Curse of the Lost Isle series starts in the early 800s with Pressine the Fae, in PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE, during the Viking invasions in Scotland. In Book 2, PAGAN QUEEN, she defies the Goddess and gives birth to three daughters, Melusine, Meliora, and Palatina.

SEDUCING SIGEFROI, Book 3, and LADY OF LUXEMBOURG, Book 4, are set at the foundation of Luxembourg as a country. Look for CHATELAINE OF FOREZ, Book 5, around the holidays, and more titles to be released next year.

The rest of the series sweeps Spain, Aquitaine, and the Middle East during the Crusades, an exciting and dangerous time to be alive... especially for Pagan immortals. See an overview of the entire series on my website under Medieval Series.

This series already gathered many five-star reviews, with titles like "Edgy Medieval, Yeah!" or "Wow!" or "Fantastic!" But be warned, I do not sugarcoat the middle ages, and some scenes are bloody and realistic. I hope you will try it and enjoy it. At this time this series is only available in kindle on Amazon. Follow the links below to find all my books.


978 AD - Melusine the Fae, immortal and cursed Lady of Luxembourg, managed to hide her Pagan nature from mortals for many years. She fiercely protects her handsome Count, Sigefroi, but in their princely bliss, neither of them seems to age, and a few suspicious bishops take notice. Then an ondine wreaks havoc during a battle, luring enemy soldiers into the river.

Betrayed, Sigefroi reflects on his many sins from the depths of a rat infested dungeon. Under torture, will he reveal her deadly secret? And when her beloved turns into a devout Christian, can Melusine salvage her happiness? Can love truly redeem her curse, or will she burn at the stake?

Find Vijaya on her WEBSITE, and her books on AMAZON - B&N - ARE and other major eBook retailers on the web.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

That sounds a fascinating series, Vijaya - love medieval Europe!

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

I agree with Rosemary, Vijaya. This is an amazing project. A decade of research wins the day!

Rose Anderson said...

Ooh I love this. Broceliande figures heavily in the series I've been working on for years (my magnum opus). Exciting info you've uncovered. Best luck Vijaya.

Vijaya Schartz, author said...

Thanks for the comments, ladies. Yes it was a monumental project, but as I'm finishing book five, it doesn't seem so herculean anymore. All the research was done upfront, so now I can just enjoy the writing.

charlotte said...

This is a wonderful series, Vijaya, and I can't wait for the next installment! I loved reading about your research!

Kaye Spencer said...

Any story connected to the Arthurian legends catches me. Thanks for this teaser into this story. I'm intrigued now. Must seek out and read. ;-)

Gemma Juliana said...

What an amazing series of books, Vijaya! When you blend so much research into a work of fiction, how much of the plot ends up being history instead of fiction? You've got me hooked now and I shall read your entire series as this is fodder for my soul. Thank you!

Vijaya Schartz, author said...

There is a lot of history in the plot. That's why I could not sugarcoat the middle ages. Facts are facts. I could only find motivation for my characters. And for what history did not provide, the legend filled the blanks nicely, explaining the facts in a different way.
Hope you enjoy the series. Warning. It has all the romantic elements, but it's not for the faint of heart. A reviewer called this series "Edgy medieval, Yeah!"

Juli D. Revezzo said...

I've enjoyed these stories, very much, Vijaya. I can't wait to read more, and what a fascinating history they have! Thanks for this peek into your history.