Thursday, September 25, 2014

Author Interview- MJ Schiller

Happy Wednesday readers.

What better way to pump up your week than with a new book 
brought to you by fellow TWRP author,
 MJ Schiller.

Thanks for being with us today MJ. 
Tell me three words that describe yourself starting with A, B, and C.

So I’ve read Angela’s other author posts and enjoyed them and thought I wanted a crack at it. Now I’ve had the opportunity, let me tell you, it’s hard! An A word that describes me? Well I can’t say AMAZING, because you’d probably stop reading there (Man! Is she full of herself!) And along the same lines I’d have to rule out ADORABLE, AWESOME, ASTOUNDINGLY TALENTED and ABSOLUTELY STUNNING. ACCESSIBLE makes me sound dirty. AUTO-CORRECTED, while it may be true, is not a very flattering trait for an author, so we’re gonna leave that one out. AWKWARD? At times, but not quite right. AGGRESSIVE? No. ANALYTICAL? Definitely not!  ALL-IN? Getting closer. 

When I love something, I LOVE something. I’m all about it. (The word obsessed comes to mind.) Another example is for a diet to work for me it has to be extreme (no sweets, no carbs, no anything good), thus dieting doesn’t work for me. But the word I think I’m going to have to settle on is ABSCESSED. As in, I recently had a tooth removed that I had my very first root canal on, twenty some years ago. When I went back in for a follow up on that tooth a few weeks ago, they discovered the one above it was abscessed and now I have a third tooth aching. I guess that’s another A word for me, ACHING! 

B- this one was easier, and probably goes without saying- BOOKWORM! I’ve always been a bookworm. The kid walking out of the library with a barely manageable stack of books, already looking forward to the next visit there. Early on I loved, almost to the point of worship (see ALL-IN above) Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, and Ian Fleming’s James Bond. You can see my interest in adventure, danger, intrigue, and, above all else, romance (arguably not so much in Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes, but you get my drift.) I also adore C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books and Brian Jacques’s Redwall series, which hints at my fascination with the fictional worlds created by authors, which is probably best seen in my sci-fi romance books.

C- well I’m going to have to put this one out there for my gal-pal Kelly, who makes it into many of my books and is eternally teasing me about being a CRAZY CAT LADY. I do love my kitty, Serena, and she is a fabulous writing companion. She’s curled up next to me right now, in fact. I mean, just look at that face! Who wouldn’t be crazy about her?

What are your three favorite things? 

Karaoke. Listening to local bands. Going to rock concerts. I guess you can see why so many of my heroes are rock stars!  

Was there any particular inspiration for your characters or story? 

There’s a kind of funny story about that. DAMAGE DONE started with an opening line. Just one line, running through my head. “Even through bloodshot eyes he could see she was different.” The story evolved from that. But when I finished writing Michael’s story, I realized I wanted to include the back story, the reasons why Michael was the way he was. So now DAMAGE DONE starts with Michael’s father’s story and my great opening line is in the middle of my document. But that’s okay. I like the new opening line I came up with, too. 

Music is a big influence on my writing. I have certain songs that inspire each chapter, or the whole book. What helps to inspire you? 

It depends on the book. My first book, TAKEN BY STORM, was sort of inspired by the movie Troy, and The Prince of Egypt. My second book, TRAPPED UNDER ICE was inspired by several Nickelback songs. ABANDON ALL HOPE began with the title, which was actually a title of a book my heroine wrote in TRAPPED UNDER ICE. Music inspires a lot of my work though. I have a story outlined that has its beginnings in the music of Breaking Benjamin. 

Describe your perfect day? 

Well, of course it would begin with sleeping in until nine. My kids would be gone to school, and my husband would have chosen to work from home that day. (Convenient!) I would spend the morning writing, we’d go out for a fabulous lunch, come home and spend “quality time” together and then I’d write for the rest of the day. The kids would all be spending the night somewhere. Hubby would take me out for a dinner that was even better than the lunch. We’d catch a movie, come home, and I’d have time to read before bed and more “special time.” Doesn’t that sound heavenly?

MJ that sounds absolutely fabulous!


When an unhappy youth leaves him damaged, will Teddy Mckee be able to find love?
“Teddy Passmore McKee was born in Cork, Ireland, with a limp and a chip on his shoulder that threw his balance off all the more.” When he falls in love with the dark haired beauty born of an Irish father and a Spanish mother, will Gabrielle Quinn be able to restore his balance? And what about the charming Sean Hennessey? When Gabby catches his eye, too, will Teddy’s playboy best friend cause his own damage?

Fourteen years later, will Teddy and Gabrielle’s son be able to overcome the damage done to him in his childhood?
“Even through bloodshot eyes he could see she was different.”  But can Michael leave behind the bottle, and his womanizing ways, to win over the lovely Tess Flanagan? Tess has sustained some damage of her own. Can she and Michael overcome the terrors of the past and learn how to love each other?

And if they do, will they be able to elude those after them who want to create their own damage?
On the run after an altercation leaves their boss in a pool of blood, will Michael and Tess be able to stay one step ahead of their pursuers? Or is it simply too late to correct the damage that has been done?


“Tessie…” He offered again. “We have to get out of here.”
She remained frozen in her spot, staring blindly over the cliff. He moved a step closer and gently grasped her elbow. “Tess—”
She whirled around and his heart caught in his chest as he stared into her wild green eyes. Tears shone on her damp cheeks, glimmering in the moonlight like trails of scattered diamonds. “Nay, Michael,” she said, her words coming out choked. “I have to tell them the truth. It’s my fault. …I k-killed him.” She sobbed.
He looked at her sadly, begging her, “Let me help you.”
The back door creaked open and light spilled out from the bar across the grass, startling them. He saw Jimmy Flynn’s outline in the doorway. “They’re out here!” he yelled.
Without waiting for a response, Michael took Tess’s arm and steered her along the cliff’s edge. He stepped over the railing and helped her to the other side as well. They stood on a narrow ledge. To the left a trail dropped off toward the sea. He led her skittering down the path, loose rock pebbling the beach far below. He had taken the pathway many a night when he was drunk and feeling particularly reckless. Tonight he hurried over it with only self-preservation and Tess’s safety in mind.
They heard voices above them, coming from every direction as searchers fanned out along the top of the cliff. Their eyes met. They hardly dared to breathe. A flashlight beam ventured over the railing and along the cliff face. She clutched his hand, squeezing it until he lost feeling in his fingers. He tried to flatten himself even more tightly against the rock face, wishing it would somehow melt and absorb them. Several seconds passed and the beam of light was joined by another, and another, each swinging away, and then toward them again.
He grabbed a quick look at the churning sea below then closed his eyes for a second, and his stomach dropped. He took a deep breath before turning his head to look at Tess. Her eyes were closed and her lips were moving fervently, but she emitted no sound. He swallowed, wondering again why the sight of her affected him so. After several minutes a voice called out, “You won’t get away with this, Mikey.” Had someone seen them? He heard Jimmy Flynn mutter, “Wherever they are, we won’t find them tonight.” One by one the lights disappeared until only a solitary beam shone.

You can find DAMAGE DONE at:


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 a nineteen-year-old (how did that happen?) and seventeen 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.


  1. Angela- thanks so much for having me! I love your interview style and had a lot of fun answering your questions!

  2. I'm so glad you could be a guest. Your Serena is gorgeous. We had one that looked like her named Pumpkin. Damage done looks like a winner. Can't wait to read it.

    1. Thank you! Funny thing is, I'm allergic to cats! Serena doesn't bother me, though. We prayed that it wouldn't be a problem before we got her, and it wasn't! I had a tortoise-shell growing up so maybe that's a breed that I can tolerate. Other cats I can walk into the house and within minutes be a weepy mess.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! And thanks for stopping by and participating!