Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Guest Post: "Love and Romance in the Middle Ages" by Vijaya Schartz

Vijaya Schartz was the first person to greet me and welcome me to my first Valley of the Sun Romance Writers Association meeting many years ago. That she went on to become our president is no surprise to anyone who knows her. She is charming, prolific, and passionate about romance writing. Welcome to Romance Righter, Vijaya!

My Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy romance series, required extensive research in early medieval legends and history. I discovered that many things have changed over the centuries... including the way we find mates. Arranged marriages, rituals, customs differ greatly, as well as the many external conflicts and ideologies two lovers must overcome in realizing their dream of finding their Happily Ever After. But the matters of the heart haven’t changed a bit. Romeo and Juliet remind us that teenagers did harbor burning passions even then. And the legends of the round table abound with instances of forbidden love and dire consequences. Watching “The Dove Keepers” and “Bible” episodes on the History Channel last week, I realized ancient history and the Old Testament are full of forbidden love stories as well.

While the Curse of the Lost Isle series is largely based upon authentic legends and known history, the crucial romantic element drives these stories. They involve a family of immortal ladies, related to Morgane the Fae, and oppressed by a curse. Torn between love and duty to their Pagan Goddess, they struggle in a world that is quickly becoming Christian. The stakes are piled high... and ready to burn.

Although these are romances, I refuse to sugarcoat the middle ages. The shrewd warriors of the time fought to kill, often savagely. The Viking raids in Scotland were bloody, and I do not shy away from such scenes. Some reviewers remarked upon it, and I often give a warning as well. Some scenes are not for the faint of heart. Yet, I owe it to myself and to my readers to give an honest description of the place and time, according to what I know to be true from extensive research. I do not apologize, not for my love scenes, and certainly not for my battle scenes.

I also enjoy the challenge of writing immortal women with Fae gifts. In this case, a mother and her three daughters. Immortality gives them a different outlook on life and love. How does a two-hundred year old gorgeous virgin approach her first lover? She is not young and certainly not  innocent, yet she has never been in love, and never known a man. What a thrilling challenge.

As for an immortal falling in love with a mortal, that’s another challenge. How are they ever going to find their Happily Ever After? That’s where imagination comes to play. As a romance writer, I absolutely insist on a HEA. Even when the odds are against them, and the outcome is grim, I will find a way. Maybe it comes from my own will to find a happy resolution, no matter what. I believe our intents, our decisions, our dreams shape our lives, and we can make a difference. So can my heroines.

Did I mention I write strong women? They carve their destiny at the point of a magic sword in this series (and with blasters in my futuristic stories). They choose, they fight, they make mistakes, they pay for them, they fall, but they always get back up and earn the right to their happiness.

Also, their extraordinary gifts come with a warning never to use them for selfish purposes... or else. Hence the curse, which results from abuse of power against mortals, usually in their late childhood, when their powers awaken.

There are five books in the Curse of the Lost Isle so far, with Book 6 scheduled for later this month. The Boxed set http://amzn.com/B00VGMYSCM includes the first four novels for only $5.00 in eBook. Some of these titles are already available in paperback, and the rest will be soon. Also available from ARE, B&N, etc.

Book 1 - PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE - The early story of Pressine
Book 2 - PAGAN QUEEN - The resolution of Pressine’s story
Book 3 - SEDUCING SIGEFROI - The story of Melusine
Book 4 - LADY OF LUXEMBOURG - The later story of Melusine
Book 5 - CHATELAINE OF FOREZ - Another story of Melusine (standalone)
Book 6 - BELOVED CRUSADER - The story of Palatina (standalone)

Blurb for the boxed set:

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. 5 stars on Amazon "Edgy Medieval, yay!"

Find all these books and many more at:

Vijaya Schartz
Swords, Blasters, Romance with a Kick

About Vijaya Schartz:
Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action, adventure, and exotic settings, in life and on the page. A world traveler, with over 24 titles published, she writes medieval and futuristic romance and often claims to travel through time. Find more at http://www.vijayaschartz.com


  1. Thank you so much for having me today, Sharon. I enjoy meeting you at our monthly meetings. Writers are wonderful people, and you are no exception.

  2. I think something happened with the link, Angelica. The link on FB and twitter and everywhere shows the right pictures, but when I tried it I only found a blank page from the blog.
    Sorry, I didn't catch it right away. Not sure what happened. The link was fine when I first posted it.

    1. Hmm! I am not very techno, but I'll check it out, too, and fix it if I can. I've been tweeting it, so I'm glad it's showing there okay.

    2. Every time and place I tried the link, it was fine, Vijaya. I don't know what to say or to check since I can't get the problem to manifest for me. Sorry. I hope the other links will continue to bring in folks for you.