Sunday, September 25, 2016


Please join me in welcoming back a returning guest, Vijaya Schartz. Always a nice addition to The Roses of Prose.

It's always bittersweet to write the last book in a long, beloved series. I've been working on the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy series for twenty years, off and on, including years of intensive research.

The myth of the ondine (siren, mermaid, silken etc.) is widespread in Europe. Melusine the Fae is an immortal, related to Morgane the Fae. Because she abused her supernatural gifts in childhood, she was cursed to become an ondine (water serpent from the waist down) on specific days. If the religious authorities learn what she is, they will hunt her down as an evil monster, and burn her at the stake.

In mythology, she represents the independent, knowledgeable and wise woman, the crone, the witch, the healer. She represents a threat to medieval society, who wants women to remain ignorant, modest, docile, and obedient. The religious order of the time also wants to suppress the influence of women, going as far as denying them a soul. Ignoring the taboos of her time, Melusine fights her oppressors and accomplishes much, despite their opposition and intrigues. She fights for justice, protects women, marries for love, empowers her men, builds mighty castles, forges alliances, and gives birth to powerful rulers.

Book 8 - ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN, scheduled for January 2017, will be the last in the Curse of the Lost Isle series, bringing Melusine's curse to its conclusion. Along the course of this series, Melusine first appears as a child in Book 2 - PAGAN QUEEN. She is then the main character in Book 3 - SEDUCING SIGEFROI, Book 4 - LADY OF LUXEMBOURG, and Book 5 - CHATELAINE OF FOREZ. Books 1 and 2 tell the story of her mother, Books 6 and 7 the story of her sisters. Find this series on  Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Previously, from her Luxembourg family, after marrying Count Sigefroi, Melusine gave birth to a line of powerful rulers who reigned in Germany, Flanders and Austria. Later in Forez, with Count Artaud, her initial success was soon crushed by mounting religious conflicts.

In the historical chronology, Book 8 - ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN actually takes place before Beloved Crusader and Damsel of the Hawk (already published standalones, portraying the other two sisters, and set during the Crusades). This last novel, however depicts the most well known legend of Melusine, the popular myth scholars have been studying for centuries... particularly in Europe.

This last book in the series is set in Lusignan, a town in Aquitaine, created by Melusine, according to legend. Lusignan is also the name of the powerful family she founded there, where she falls in love with Count Raymond, and gives birth to a mighty noble line.

Her descendants Guy and Hugh of Lusignan later became kings of Jerusalem and Cyprus during the Crusades. Another descendant of hers is the famous and infamous Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen, in France and in England. King Richard the Lionheart mentions more than once the stain upon his family, his dark ancestress through the centuries, the cursed one. That was Melusine the Fae, whose blood also flowed in Eleanor of Aquitaine.

But as a writer, I wanted to find the truth beyond the myths and the legends. I wanted to discover the heart of these characters. A series of facts does not a story make. Their indomitable passion is what drove them to extraordinary feats and brought their names all the way into this century. Unfortunately, at the time they were judged harshly. Remember that history is always written by the victors, and Paganism was crushed by Christendom. So it made sense that the Pagans of the time would be reviled in the official records, and presented in a negative light, even accused of horrible deeds.

In my intensive research for this series, I peeled off the layers of superstition to find the truth of these fascinating characters, and bring them to life into the light, with all their hopes and struggles.

I hope you will enjoy reading their story as much as I enjoyed writing it. 


Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks -


Margo Hoornstra said...

Fascinating! What an incredible feat on your part to complete the series. Best of luck with its success.

Rolynn Anderson said...

I celebrate the last book of a series with you! Writers know how much research goes into a gigantic story like yours, anchored on deft plots and intriguing characters. I'm sure you already have another concept going as you put this one to bed. Good work, Vijaya!

Jannine Gallant said...

Really interesting. Your books remind me of The Mists of Avalon in concept. A look at history from another perspective. Best of luck rapping up your series!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Welcome back to the Roses of Prose. Leaving a series is hard, especially when you've come to love the characters and their story beats strong in your heart. I can't wait to hear what you'll write about next.

Leah St. James said...

This sounds like a fantastic series! I love stories that weave mythology and legend and history into a new concept. Ending it must feel like saying goodbye to best friends and family, but I'll bet what comes next will be just as wonderful. wishing you much success!

Diane Burton said...

Welcome, Vijaya. Sounds like a great series. Best wishes.