Thursday, January 28, 2021


Now open to all writers and authors, anywhere in the world (Entry must be written in English). Go to the website and check out the rules and print the form to enter in one of our many categories, published or unpublished. 

For published books, the publication date must be 2020 or 2021. However, this year's Arizona Literary Contest also has a new exciting category Oldie but Goldie." If you haven’t written a book in a while, you may be thinking that you can’t participate. We’ve changed that.

This year, we feature a new category, “Oldie but Goldie.” You may submit ANY book, no matter when it was written, provided it has never before earned an award in the Arizona Authors Association Literary Contest. You may have previously submitted it, as long as it didn’t earn a placement or honorable mention. This will open up the contest to a great many more of our wonderful writers.

We all have favorite older books of ours that have never won an Arizona Authors award. Dust off those covers and submit them now! It’s time to earn recognition for a worthy book that fell through the cracks in years past. 

Your book may have won awards in other contests; that’s okay! As long as it didn’t previously win in our own contest, then submit as many books as you wish, no matter what their copyright date. You may finally earn recognition for a beloved Oldie but Goldie book. Check out this link for our contest form and send off that book now!

Beside cash prizes, all the winners and finalists will be published or featured in the Arizona Literary Magazine. 

you can order last year's magazine HERE

Also, the 1st and 2nd prize winners in poetry, essay, and short story categories, will be nominated for the NATIONAL PUSHCART PRIZE.

You have until July to enter, so if you don't have anything written you still have time to write a poem, an essay, or even a short novel, and enter them in the non-published category.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Vijaya Schartz, top bestselling author at the BWL Publishing house for 2020


Just learned that my Canadian publisher, BWL Publishing, named me as one of their ten top bestselling authors for 2020.

BWL is a mid-size traditional press in print and ebooks. I have been published by them for ten years. They presently publish about thirty of my novels. They are not looking for new authors at this time. 

Although 2020 wasn't the best year for me, I feel honored and happy to be part of the BWL family.

Vijaya Schartz, author

Monday, January 11, 2021


 Fantastic stories of superheroes with great powers are the product of our imagination. But what if we could extend our natural abilities, by opening and using more areas of our brains? 

The consensus among scientific circles is that we only use 10% of our brains. Our brain can control our cells, tell them how and when to reproduce and regenerate. When we heal from a wound, we grow new skin and tissues to repair the damage. 

By using more of our brains, we might be able to regrow entire limbs, like lizards grow back tails. Or we could change our appearance, like chameleons change color and some sea creatures shapeshift and morph to mimic a specific background. 

Dolphins are very intelligent and friendly to Humans. They use 20% of their brain, and they developed a natural sonar system more sophisticated than what the US military can produce. 

We can program our brains to think positively, creatively. Prayer is known to speed healing. Focused meditation can also accelerate the process. Many cancer patients recovered faster than others when they use prayer or focused meditation. 

In the movie LUCY, an unwilling drug mule is contaminated with a mind enhancing substance that opens her brain. As she uses more and more of her brain capacity, she can manipulate her body, shapeshift, read others’ minds, manipulate matter, link with electronic devices, control time, etc. Farfetched? Not so much. 

Great minds of recent times, like Stephen Hawking, publicly acknowledged taking brain enhancing drugs to achieve greater understanding of the laws of the universe. Shamans claim to access other planes of consciousness and possibly contact with faraway entities, through focused meditation and the use of substances that open unexplored parts of their brain. 

Some abilities, considered as supernatural powers, could be achieved by conditioning our brains through meditation or other methods. By opening and using the regions of our brain we do not presently use, we could learn to manipulate the forces around us. Some people study and practice to master abilities like telekinesis, mind-reading, mind-to-mind communication at a distance, and levitation… abilities Tibetan monks already achieve through meditation. 

Some Tibetan Lamas also practice what they call the Rainbow ritual at the end of their lives. They meditate for a week straight without food, sleep, or water. During that time, their bodies shrink considerably and emit light, until they dissolve into visible rainbow light that ascends, which is the possible origin for the term enlightenment. They leave behind only a desiccated shell the size of a tiny child. 

In stories and movies, like Star Wars, enlightened beings, like the most realized Jedi, also dissolve into light as they die, with no body left behind. This is not as farfetched as you might think. It could be imprinted in our DNA. In nature, nothing is lost, it only transforms and recycles or transforms into pure energy… like fire produces heat and light. 

Science also might speed the process and make cyborgs of us, implanting electronic markers and communication devices directly into our bodies and our brains. Making connections directly from our brains to computers is not impossible. Some people already have imbedded electronics in their body. Amputated patients can control an artificial arm or leg with their mind.

Will all Humans have supernatural abilities in the future? Shall we attain quasi-immortality? It’s a distinct possibility. Science fiction authors already explore this landscape. In my stories, a few characters have natural or cybernetic abilities we cannot yet achieve. 

Here are a few suggestions for entertaining reads set in such a future.

Available from your favorite retailer HERE

Winner Arizona Literary Awards, Fiction, 2019

Something’s rotten on the angel planet. When Avenging Angels turn up dead, Urielle, their Legion Commander, suspects the handsome intruder brought unspeakable evil to Azura.

Maksou never met a woman he couldn’t seduce. He came to the forbidden planet to rescue his friends and get rich in the process, but the jungle crawls with lethal life forms… including a gorgeous warrior angel, who saves his life but keeps him prisoner and challenges his irresistible charm.

Urielle, sworn to protect Azura at all costs, has no use for a maverick who ignores the rules and endangers the planet… no matter how attractive. Especially when the Galactic Trade Alliance (GTA) wages a secret war to get their greedy hands on the priceless crystal at Azura’s core.

Find Akira's Choice HERE

When bounty hunter Akira Karyudo accepted her assignment, something didn't add up. Why would the Galactic Trade Alliance want a young kidnapped orphan dead or alive?

She will get to the truth once she finds the boy, and the no-good SOB who snatched him from a psychiatric hospital. With her cheetah, Freckles, a genetically enhanced feline retriever, Akira sets out to flush them out of the bowels of the Byzantium space station. But when she finds her fugitives, the kidnapper is not what she expects.

Kazmo, a decorated Resistance fighter, stole his nephew from the authorities, who performed painful experiments on the boy. Stuck on Byzantium, he protects the child, but how can he shield him from the horribly dangerous conditions in the lawless sublevels of the space station?

Akira faces the worst moral dilemma of her career. Law or justice, duty or love. She can't have it both ways.

"Wow! If readers want to see and feel and believe they are in deep space, then ‘Akira's Choice’ is the perfect choice! With a touch of romance, the vivid descriptions and beautifully developed characters masterfully presented by Schartz create a virtual world that invite the reader not merely to observe, but to walk amongst them and participate... This is a delicate art, and Schartz wields her weapons with precision and skill. Banzai!" 5 stars - exceptional - recommended read - Ind'tale Magazine

Vijaya Schartz, author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats
amazon B&N - Smashwords - Kobo FB 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference

 Desert Nights, Rising Stars

The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Virtual Writing Conference 
February 18-20, 2021

The conference this year takes place online due to Covid19. There will be more than fifty workshops, panels, talks and other activities during the three days of the conference. If you register by December 31st, you’ll receive $50 off the regular price of $225 for all three days. (You may also register for one or two days at $150. per day.) 

A sample of the workshop topics include:
Folklore, Legend and Myth in Horror with Cynthia Pelayo 

Divinatory Poetics with Tanner Menard
Dodging Diversity Tropes in Children's Literature with Hena 

The Secret to Writing a Perfect Story with Evan Winter 

50 Editing Mistakes Authors Make with Chantelle Aimee Osman 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Difference Between Writing Fiction and Non-Fiction by J.Q.Rose

About J.Q. Rose 

Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, J.Q. Rose is “focused on story.” She offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her mystery novels. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard and Dangerous Sanctuary released by Books We Love Publishing. Using her storytelling skills, she provides entertainment and information with articles featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and online magazines. 

J.Q. taught elementary school for several years and never lost the love for teaching passed down from her teacher grandmother and mother. She satisfies that aspect of her character by presenting workshops on Writing Your Life Story.

* * *

I have written mysteries to entertain readers and myself. Making up a story is so much fun. The writer can write about alien worlds, fantasy, zombies, contemporary romance and no one cares if it's true. Readers are willing to dispel their disbelief and step into the world of make-believe. 

A memoir, also known as creative non-fiction, is so different from writing fiction. The story tells the truth about real life. That is difficult for a fiction writer! A memoir only covers a slice of life, not the entire person's life from beginning to present. 

New release from JQ Rose, get it HERE

I wrote my memoir about the year we moved to Michigan in December 1975 to purchase a flower shop and greenhouse operation. I thought this would be for my kids and grandkids to satisfy their curiosity. Not only to let them know about the "good ole days," but I also wanted to encourage our kids to dream big for their lives. To be entrepreneurs in the greenhouse business was our dream. 

We fell in love with a greenhouse operation in West Michigan, but it was attached to a flower shop. We knew nothing about operating a flower shop, and to be honest, my husband, Ted, had only worked in his little hobby greenhouse. Never in a commercial greenhouse business. We had lots to learn. 

The memoir includes elements of fiction such as character, conflict and setting. The main character in the story is me. The situation provided plenty of conflict with the previous owner. Not knowing a thing about business or floral design created anxiety about whether we could run a successful business. I was also a new mom who was insecure about taking care of a baby and filled with guilt choosing to go to work rather than staying at home with her. The setting was a small town, exactly like the ones in my mysteries, Deadly Undertaking and Dangerous Sanctuary. 

I have penned two novels based on my life story. Arranging a Dream: A Memoir is my true story. I interacted with real people in a real town, but I changed some of their names to protect their privacy. 

Deadly Undertaking
is based on my life experience. The setting of this romantic suspense is a funeral home. My dad was a funeral director. Many of the jobs I mentioned in the story are ones I did for my dad, such as dusting caskets, running errands and helping my mom set up flowers for visitations and church services. ( a foreshadowing of my future in the flower business??) But there was no murder or Henry the Shadow Man in my real life! 

I enjoyed writing both books, but the deep dive into looking back at my real life through the perspective of time proved to identify truths that I had never realized until I completed the book. The journey of writing a life story may be a difficult one, but a better understanding of one’s life brings satisfaction and a sense of wrapping up the loose ends in that period of life, similar to the satisfaction when reading the closing pages of a captivating fictional book.

Based on the lessons taught in her workshops, JQ created a book, Your Words, Your Life Story: a Journal for Sharing Memories to help life storytellers write, publish and market their stories. Find it on Amazon HERE

If you would like to write or record your life story/memoir, check out the Facebook Group, Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle for encouragement and ways to spark memories. 

Aso find J.Q. Rose's page at BWL Publishing - Amazon - BLOGFB