Thank you. It’s nice to be here!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where do you live, do you have a significant other, any young ones running around?
I was born and bred in the lovely Midwest, where I still reside. I grew up for the most part in the big city, St. Louis. But now I live in a smaller, college town. I’ve been married for twenty-five years to a highly logical man who is oh so patient with his highly illogical and emotional wife. We have an eighteen-year-old and sixteen-year-old triplets.
Tell us about your “big break” in the publishing world. Was there any one person believe in your work first (besides yourself of course)? What did you do to celebrate your first contract?
My big break came in the form of a contract with Crimson Romance. I was a little leery of an upstart company as I had a contract several months before that with a new company that folded before it ever opened its doors, which was quite a disappointment. I held off celebrating until my release day for TAKEN BY STORM and we popped a bottle of sparkling cider with the kids and toasted the publisher and the acquisitions editor who took me on. People who believed in me—my dad has always been a huge supporter, no matter what I did. There was also my first devoted readers. They read every book before I published it, (in particular, Shelley Gould, the wife of one of the janitors at our school). There are many others, but the biggest would be my husband, who, strangely, never doubted my abilities, even though he’s never read any of my work.
Name one quirk you have.
Just one? I nap every day. It’s like a little divider between my work life and home life. A day without a nap is an unhappy day.
What is your favorite junk food?
Oh, geez! There are so many! Oreos, maybe?
What do you like to do for fun and relax?
I love to karaoke and play a computer game called Text Twist, where you make as many words as possible from given letters. My husband and I do this together almost every night. It’s a nice way to spend time together.
What are you a collector of?
Dust? Just kidding. I don’t really collect anything in particular any more…except maybe scrapbook supplies that I haven’t used in a while.
What five items do you take everywhere with you – besides cell phone, keys and purse/wallet?
My Ipod, (gotta have my music), lipstick, lipgloss, lipliner, compact (not vain, self-conscious), and my epi-pens (I’m crazy allergic to shellfish. Puff up just smelling the seafood at the grocery store.) Actually, this is sort of a lie. I should carry my epi-pens with me but they are usually two purses behind, so I’ll say a jacket (I don’t like being cold).
Who/What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading, “Color My World,” by another rock romance writer named Victoria Cowden Moyneur. I’m enjoying it!
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Finding the time to do it, and staying in one point of view. As a writer, I see the world from multiple points of view all the time, each person’s story. But to present that story to the reader it helps to stay in the same point of view for big chunks at a time.
What can you tell us about your latest release?
My latest release, AN UNCOMMON LOVE, is about a princess and a blacksmith, a commoner. Adriana is attracted to Seth instantly when he is brought before her father, the king, for punishment. Suddenly she doubts every aspect of her life. The two don’t always see eye-to-eye and are separated by outside forces and have an arduous journey back to each other.
What was the best thing about writing this story?
Just getting to play in another time period for a while, and be a princess!
What’s coming out next?
Next up is a Christmas romantic suspense. Paramedic Dylan Fisher is still dressed like Santa (he is returning home from his second job at the mall) when he meets Keira Kelly at an accident scene. Keira’s car has been rammed by a stranger and Dylan helps to rescue her and her little girl, Delaney, from the wreckage. Soon they discover that Keira’s husband’s death may not have been an accident after all and the killer may be after Keira!
Blurb from AN UNCOMMON LOVE~
Princess Adriana had her life all figured out. Or, to be more precise, she had her life all figured out for her. Before she was even born she was betrothed to Garin, and that was perfectly acceptable as he became her childhood friend, and then, eventually, the person she would swap kisses with inside the palace gardens. She never questioned it, never had a reason to, until the day a commoner was brought before her father, the King, to be punished.
As soon as Adriana’s eyes connect with Seth’s across the stone courtyard, she begins to question everything in her life. For his part, Seth Hobbes is confused about his feelings for the beautiful princess who refuses to match any of his preconceived notions of what a princess should be like, starting when Adriana begs her father to release him. When Seth creeps into the castle at night to thank her, they begin to build a relationship with one another that is often as explosive as it is endearing. When fate ends up separating the two, they must undertake a long and arduous journey to be reunited and then overcome the objections Adriana’s father has to their relationship. Will Adriana be able to make Seth see her for herself and not as the princess that he imagines? And if she does, will she ever be able to convince her father that, despite his objections, there is nothing “common” about Seth at all?
I decided to do something a little different for my excerpts on this blog tour. They are sequential, so if you follow from beginning to end, you’ll have read nearly all of the first chapter. Today’s excerpt is Princess Adriana with her betrothed, Garin, who does not turn out to be our hero.
Garin sighed, gazing at her with ill-hidden lust. He sat up, bending one knee and languidly resting on one elbow, his shirt left half-opened.
“Adi, I do not know if I can make it to our wedding night. The very scent of your skin these days sends a fire burning in my groin.” He rose from the ground. Pushing aside her fingers, he helped to tie her bodice. She fumed at the delay, half-ready to fly, tied or not. He smiled at her. “It is so strange how these feelings have awoken in us. Forever you have been my best friend, the one who explored the creek with me, who fought with me, who fished with me, who got in trouble with me. Soon you will be my lover, and that thought consumes my mind throughout the day. And tortures my nights.” His movements stilled and he gazed into her eyes. Swinging an arm towards the patch of ground they had just abandoned he begged, “Adi, darling, come back and lie with me.” He seemed not to care about how unmanly the pleading made him.
“Garin,” she scolded. “I cannot lie with you in the grass while some man is being tortured within my hearing.”
He grabbed her even as she turned from him, and pulled her in roughly, his strong fingers claiming ownership of her hip bones. He pushed his groin against her and brought his mouth to the base of her ear. “You will give me some time later,” he growled.
She turned her head towards him, her arms crossed in front of her, hands covering his. She leaned back against his lean body, her lips curving up in an effort to seduce. “Would you doubt that?” she asked, her voice stroking him needlessly.
He chuckled low in her ear, letting his hands slide up, hard, along the sides of her bodice, coming in to cup what she had hidden away from him. “You will be mine soon, Adriana, and then there will be no running away.”
The sound of his voice thrilled her. The need she heard in it was intoxicating, his hands, masterful, even as they clutched at her desperately. She turned in his arms and pulled his head down, pressing her warm, open lips to his. Snapping her head back, she watched the haze of passion lift from his eyes. She raised her hand to run a finger down his face from his temple to his lips, her gaze traveling its course. He nipped at it playfully and she lifted her head to peer into his eyes. “It will be worth the wait,” she promised.
“Had I any doubt, I would have taken you on the grass today despite your protests.”
“Oh. You, wicked boy!” She spun towards the sound of the crowd and fought her way out of his arms. “Come, now. Hurry, Garin. I must see what is happening!”
About M.J. Schiller ~
MJ is a lunch lady in the heart of Central Illinois. My gosh, can you get more folksy than that? She met her husband at the University of Missouri-Columbia and now she has an eighteen-year-old (how did that happen?) and sixteen year old triplets! She loves to read, karaoke (where she can pretend she is a rock star) and spends WAY too much time on Facebook. She grew up in St. Louis and still has family there.