Navigation Bar

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Please welcome my fancy new guest, MJ SCHILLER!

Sunday! This week flew - my life is all about writing and performing these days. We're getting ready for Punk Island (happening on 6/22 in Staten Island!) and I'm doing my best to show love to all the amazing writers I've become acquainted with over the last few months.

Today, I've invited another one of those amazing ladies - MJ Schiller is here to introduce herself, chat about her latest release, and leave us some info about her work and how to find her later! And let me tell you, our girl knows her rockstar romance! 

MJ's latest release is titled ABANDON ALL HOPE, and is being released as part of her Rocking Romance Collection. Be sure to visit
MJ's Blog for more information about her books and their availability! 

So, she and I played a little 'Q&A'; she's an awesome chick! Her work is on my TBR list (which, incidentally, keeps getting larger by the day!) and you'll definitely be seeing reviews on here on one fine Saturday or two. But for now, here's a little more about MJ: 

MJ: First off, Samantha, let me thank you for having me on your blog today!
Me: The pleasure is all mine! I can't wait to read your work! My readers can't wait to meet you!

1. Tell us about you - when did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always been a writer. But I never pursued my writing until after that milestone 40th birthday. Call it a midlife crisis. I never got to runaway with my rock star, so I decided to create a fictional world where I did.  That story is TRAPPED UNDER ICE, by the way (Lunch lady/romance writer, like myself and rock star). 

But it really started in second grade when I co-authored a book with the girl up the block, Mary Ellen Murphey. It was a fantastic, suspense-filled book with the original title of “The Black Cat.” Now, Mary Ellen’s dad was an attorney, so he was connected. He swore he was getting this lovely manuscript—written on blue hotel stationary, hole-punched, and bound with white yarn bows—published. As it turns out, Mary Ellen Murphey’s dad must have been one of those shyster lawyers, because I never saw one cent of royalties from that little jewel! Grrr! 

2. Which project has been your favorite so far? Why? 

That’s like asking a mom to tell you who her favorite child is! Each of our kids brings something different to the table. That’s a business term, isn’t it? In our case it would be they all bring something different to the dinner table. ( ; One is the jokester, one is the thinker. One analytical, one creative. And the role they play may be different, depending on the night. It’s amazing how four children raised by the same two people can be so entirely different from one another! 

My books are much the same. They all have their own…mood. Their own flavor. And I love them all equally…sort of. As you might expect, my favorite project seems to be whatever project I’m currently working on. (Just like your favorite room in the house is the room you just redecorated.) But, there’s always something about your oldest, your firstborn, the one that made you a parent in the first place. While TRAPPED UNDER ICE is technically the second book I’ve written, and the second book I’ve published, I still kind of consider it my first born. It’s my first rock star romance and I have a definite affinity for rock stars, as you might have guessed. ;)

3. What inspired your latest book? 

Umm…it may sound weird but, the title? As I mentioned before, Beth, from TRAPPED UNDER ICE, is a romance writer/lunch lady, like me (and she wins the heart of her rock star! Sigh.) ABANDON ALL HOPE is the make-believe title of one of her books. I liked the title, so I developed a story for it. It’s the story of Hope Creswell, and why she abandoned the love of the life, Chase Hatton, and felt abandoned herself, on the night of prom.

4. Which of your books would you want to see as a movie? Cast your lead characters. 

TRAPPED UNDER ICE! Josh Holloway, (Sawyer from the TV show “Lost”) would appear as Chad. Charlize Theron (the witch in Snow White and the Huntsman) as Beth. 

5. What's next for you? Do you have any plans to step out of the romance genre? 

No. I’m forever a happily ever after girl! My next project is the second in my ROMANTIC REALMS COLLECTION titled AN UNCOMMON LOVE. It is a fairy tale romance about a princess that falls for a commoner.  This man, blacksmith/“hottie” Seth Hobbes, is brought before the court for disrespecting one of her father’s men. Oh, yeah!  Seth and his forge get me all fired up!

Thanks again, MJ, for having this great Q&A session here - you're quite the inspiration, whether you realize it or not! :) Meanwhile, buds, get to know more of MJ (and her rockstar characters!) by not only visiting her blog (see link above), but by checking out her Facebook Page, and even following her on Twitter and Pinterest! You can also find a listing of her books and reviews on Goodreads

Be sure to check out ABANDON ALL HOPE, officially available on! MJ was also awesome enough to include an excerpt from the book in the hopes that you'll be like me and put it on your TBR list! Check it out:

Hope couldn’t remember what they had for dinner that night, only that it was delicious. At the end of the meal, she and Chase escaped to the garage for a game of table tennis. The garage was large, with a low, raftered ceiling holding bikes and boxes, and shelves built into all of the walls along the sides and back. It had a nice, damp, woody scent, albeit somewhat musty. There were center support poles running between the two garage doors, and on one side, a large table tennis table awaited.
The game started off friendly, but soon the pair’s natural sense of competition heightened and it escalated into a battle of major proportions. Hope couldn’t help but notice the muscles on Chase’s arms tightening as he played, his skin tanned from hours at the pool. He shook hair out of his eyes with a smile, and she felt her insides melt like the cheese oozing out of a grilled cheese sandwich.
Chase found he had his hands full, as the same twist of the wrist that sent a volleyball spinning, also sent a table tennis ball spiraling out of control. Hope had a knack for hitting the ball just close enough to knick the table before it tumbled out of bounds. Add to this the fact that he seemed distracted at times. She served and his reaction was just a tad slow as the ball hit the paddle, sending it into the net.
“Ohhh!” he groaned.
She grinned. “15-16.” The next serve he didn’t have a chance at.
“Geez! What was that?” Chase exclaimed as the ball whizzed past him.
“16 all!” Hope began hopping around.
“What are you doing?”
“My sandal strap came undone.” She set her paddle down and bent to fix it, and he went to retrieve the ball from where it had rolled behind a rake. After he scooped it up, his eyes swept across the floor under the table to where she curled her leg up to fiddle with the buckle. She caught his eye.

“Ouch!” he muttered under his breath with a half whistle.
They both straightened up, gazing across the table into each other’s eyes.
He bounced the ball to her.
“Damn straight!” he returned.
The battle raged back and forth until Chase stood ready to serve, the score 24-25, in Hope’s favor. Game point. But he wasn’t about to quit.
“You stick your tongue out when you’re concentrating.”
“I do not!” Hope replied, slightly embarrassed.
“Yes, you do. It’s cute.”
Hope felt her cheeks get hot. “You’re just trying to distract me,” she rejoined, shifting her feet from side to side like she did on the volleyball court, her paddle poised.
“Darned right I am! I can’t let myself get beat by a girl.”
Before he had even finished his sentence, Chase tried to zing the ball past her, but Hope’s reactions were too quick. With a flourish, she returned the ball, hitting it off the side of the table for the final time as she scored the winning point. She hooted and hollered, enjoying an elaborate victory dance on her side of the garage. Chase laid both hands on the table, appearing exasperated. Catching his glare, Hope stopped her dancing.

Be sure to follow MJ on her blog tour; after that, be sure to check out ABANDON ALL HOPE, as well as her other books! As for me, I'm headed out to celebrate my sister's birthday with eggplant parmigiana, some vino, and the True Blood premiere! Happy reading, ya'll!



  1. Thank you for having me, Samantha, and for all your kind words!

    1. My pleasure! Come back and visit anytime! :)

  2. I loved this book. It is completely adorable. Way to go, M.J., and thank you for allowing me an Advanced Reading Copy!
    -R.T. Wolfe

  3. Thank you for all you've done to make ABANDON ALL HOPE a success!

  4. What a fun interview! I love the covers of these books - and the stories sound great. They're on my TBR list now too! MJ - maybe you could write a rock star version of The Black Cat... ;-)

  5. that's an idea... I'm sure it would skyrocket up the charts! Thanks for taking the time to read the interview and for your support. Much appreciated! ( :