December 16, 2014

Leap Into the Knight by M.J. Schiller (+Author Interview & Giveaway)

Sir Darius Lee is a Knight of the High Order.

But when Darius discovers a stranger in his room in the middle of the night, and the intruder turns out to be a beautiful woman, he begins to question how he is meant to live his life.

Princess Megan of Bethyea is being held captive.

But when two knights help her to escape and bring her back to her home planet, she finds the home she knew no longer exists.

When The Council of Twelve questions Darius about his relationship with Maggie, she tries to flee from The Academy of the High Order to prevent him from losing his knighthood.

Will Darius and Orion find Maggie before she leaves Albion? And if they do, how can they face the decision of The Council? And what about the feelings Orion has developed for the princess?

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Release Date: November 1, 2014

Length: 125 Pages

Published by: Kissmet Publishing

The Book Excerpt

The Cafe Interview

Thanks so much for stopping by the Authors' Cafe today, MJ. I'm thrilled to host you and your latest release, Leap into the Knight!

Okay, I see you've got your Diet Pepsi and chocolate cake, so let's get right to the interview.

At what point in your life did you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?

When I turned forty. It is one of those monumental birthdays that make you look around and evaluate your life. I decided “that book I’m going to write someday” needed to be written. Someday had arrived.

Which of your characters is most like you? 

Beth from TRAPPED UNDER ICE. She is a lunch lady/romance writer, like myself, and although she is a glamorized version of me—skinnier, prettier, wittier, sexier—she is a lot like me.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which character from any of your books would you want with you? 

Ooh! Tough one! I’m tempted to say Callie, my BFF from TRAPPED UNDER ICE, because she’s so much fun… But I’d be needing me a little island love, so I’m going to go with Cooper from THE HEART TEACHES BEST. He’s hot, and a cop, so he’d be resourceful.

Where do you write? 

Mostly on my living room couch, but I’m planning to create an office in my boys’ room when they go away to college in the fall.

Do you have any “rituals” you go through before you write? 

It’s not really a ritual, but I like to read several chapters before I start. I want to be sure the flow is natural when I take up the story again and the pacing remains on target.

What was your favorite scene to write and why? 

Hmm…I loved the karaoke scene in ROCK ME, GENTLY.

What would YOU like your readers to know about your books or you in general? 

I really don’t want you to learn anything when reading my books. I want you to escape for a while from the daily grind and go somewhere interesting, meet new people that you’ll like and can root for, feel a little, laugh a little, get a little revved up from a love scene. I want to provide a nice break. One we all deserve.

That's an awesome answer!!! What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? 

Never give up and never stop learning about your craft.

Do you have a favorite author? 

I have many! Nora Roberts, Charles Dickens, R.T. Wolfe, to name a few.

What genre of books do you read for pleasure? 

Romance or romantic suspense.

What’s the most amusing thing that’s ever happened to you? 

Wow! Amusing things happen to me every day! The moment that springs to mind though is one day when I was in church. I was piously praying, about halfway through the service, when my daughter asked, “Mommy. Why do you have a sock on your shoulder?” I had been doing laundry before I left home and forgot about this unmatched sock that I had flung over my shoulder.

LOL!!! What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

Watch TV with my kids or karaoke with my friends.

If all TV shows were real, what show (all time) would you most like to live in? 

Ooh, easy! Once Upon a Time! So many attractive men on that show! 

I love that show! And now it's time for some . . .

Cafe Random-Ness

Party dress or blue jeans? Jeans

Plotter or Panster? Pantser

Print or e-Book? Man. Up until a few years ago I would have said print all the way. I was anti-e-reader, until I got one and realized it was a bookworm’s dream come true. All of your favorite books literally in the palm of your hand!

Totally agree with you on that one! Coastal walks or extreme sports? Coastal walks. I’m a chicken.

Me too! Cookies or cupcakes? Umm…both?

Super hero or super villain? Hero!

If you had a free afternoon you’d . . . Right now I’ve got to say sleep. I’ve been pulling some long hours lately.

The smell of what takes you back to your childhood? 
Ding Dongs 

You suddenly realize you live in a haunted house. Do you:

  1. Run screaming for the door. 
  2. Bravely go to a church, load up on holy water and try to get rid of the ghost. 
  3. Set up ghost hunting equipment to capture phenomenon. 
  4. Call in the Ghost Adventures crew so that you can ogle the lead guy Zac’s amazingly stiff hair when you’re not ogling his uh, physical attributes. 
  5. Deny you have a ghost and just let it scare the bejesus out of your visitors. 

Having not seen lead guy Zac, I’m going to take your word on it and pick him.

Could you tell us a couple random facts about yourself?

  1. I used to compete as a synchronized swimmer on the Junior Olympic level (before it became an Olympic event). 
  2. I like to analyze song lyrics. They are usually pretty stupid when you stop to think of them. For instance, if you have the “rocking pneumonia” and the a “boogy-woogy flu” perhaps you should see a doctor instead of writing a song.

Wow - That's amazing, M.J.! Thanks so much for stopping by to chat today, it's been truly a pleasure!

About M.J. Schiller

I was born in Overland Park, KS, grew up in St. Louis, MO, went to school at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and moved to Bloomington, IL fresh out of college. I worked as a high school/junior college teacher, personnel recruiter, office manager of a jewelry store, and, for the past ten years, as a lunch lady. I like to karaoke and attend rock concerts. I’m also actively involved at church and spend too much time on Facebook. I am the mother of a seventeen-year-old, fifteen-year-old triplets, and have been married to my husband, Don, for over twenty-four years.

I have been a writer all my life. My first book, which was co-written with Mary Ellen Murphey in second grade, was titled The Black Cat, and was written on blue hotel stationary, hole-punched, and bound by white yarn. I believe it is currently out of circulation.

When I turned forty, I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized those bigwig publishing houses in New York were now probably run by people younger than me, so I shouldn’t be intimidated by them. At about the same time, I was watching one of those award shows, and Jaclyn Smith got up to give a posthumous award to Aaron Spelling. She credited him for encouraging her to go into acting, saying something brilliant like, “Reach for your dreams.” Nothing new. Almost even seems a little Jiminy Cricketish. But, for some reason, it struck me that night. When Aaron Spelling was thirteen, he was probably just like any other acned thirteen-year-old. But he worked to achieve his dreams, and became a household name. So, I began to write. Once I finished my first book,I wasn’t able to stop. I would rather write than do just about anything else. After all, I get to make people (characters) do what I want, and design their happy endings. What power! And what a privilege.

The Giveaway
Four Copies of An Uncommon Love

An Uncommon Love (Romantic Realms Collection – Book 2)

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.…until the day her eyes conncected with blacksmith Seth Hobb’s across a stone courtyard.When he creeps into the castle at night to thank her for freeing him, they begin to build a relationship with one another that is often as explosive as it is endearing. But fate ends up separating the two and they must undertake a long and arduous journey to be reunited.But with everything against them, can an uncommon love like theirs survive?

Even then, can Adriana make Seth see her for herself and not as the princess he imagines? And if she does, will she ever be able to convince her father that, despite his objections over Seth being a commoner, there is nothing “common” about him at all?

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