Welcome everyone! Today I’ve got a special treat for romance lovers who have a weak spot for rock stars. A book spotlight for ABANDON ALL HOPE by MJ Schiller.
Little Ol’ Autobiographical Me
Good morning, Elke, and thank you for having me on your blog. I’m here to talk to you today about that sage old advice, write about what you know. My contention is you can’t help but write about what you know. I am infused in all of my books.
For instance, I like to dance. I’m not good at it, but I like it. I’m not sure if all of my books have dancing in them, but most of them do. Take TRAPPED UNDER ICE, the first in my ROCKING ROMANCE COLLECTION. Beth and Chad actually samba together to one of Beth’s exercise video tapes. Very sexy! They dance at Beth’s daughter’s prom. Very romantic! They dance on a ship, at a club…okay, there is a lot of dancing! You’d understand that in a rock romance, right? But surely not in TAKEN BY STORM, my desert prince romance, right? *Shakes head* Ever heard of belly dancing? Hot, hot, hot!
I also like to sing. In fact, I’ve been known to karaoke a time or two. And with rock stars, there’s bound to be some singing. Sometimes people ask me who wrote the lyrics in my books, which baffles me. The rock stars didn’t write them because they are fictional characters. I wrote them. Now there isn’t any singing in TAKEN BY STORM, but there is poetry, which is basically lyrics without music. Bashea writes poetry and is embarrassed when Tahj discovers her poems. The prince writes her his own poem later, though claiming to not be good at it. You can be the judge of that yourself. Just go to Amazon (http://bit.ly/SaRWv0) and…shameless self promotion. One of my favorite scenes isn’t even published yet. It is a scene from ROCK ME, GENTLY where my rock star, Josh Dunningham, goes karaoking with his love interest. The bar patrons tell him he’s pretty good, but he’s no Josh Dunningham. It’s great! You’ll have to read it when it’s out. 😉
A third item I carry over from my real life to my writing is my love of family and friends. TAKEN BY STORM starts off with Bashea sitting around her tribe’s fire telling family stories. Her overprotective brothers and father are a huge part of the story. TRAPPED UNDER ICE ends with a family scene where rock star Chad Evan’s is playing Guitar Hero with his love interest, Beth’s, nephews. Family is great. They can drive you crazy, and believe me, they do that in my books. They can be your best support ever. That’s there, too.
What about you? If you are an author, what part of you never fails to end up in your books? If you are a reader, what part of you do you connect with in books you read?
It was one of those mornings for newspaper-writer/photographer Hope Creswell. The alarm clock didn’t go off and she cut her finger on broken glass. Not one to let such things get her down, Hope headed into her assignment meeting with excitement, only to leave it stunned. Her new assignment is to trail the sensational rock-star, Chase Hatton, for an article. Chase Hatton! No one knows the power that name holds for her. No one knows of the childhood friendship that blossomed into romance, only to abruptly die on the night of Hope’s senior prom. No one knows of the ache that still fills her heart.
What starts out for Chase Hatton as an average publicity trip to Chicago suddenly becomes complicated when his manager tells him that Hope Creswell will be interviewing him in the morning. He had spent eight years trying to forget Hope, and now she would be in his penthouse in a matter of hours?
When Chase opens the door to his penthouse and finds Hope on the opposite side, his heart begins beating a rhythm the rocker has yet to capture in any of his music. The smoldering embers of their former romance are fanned by their mere proximity. Will they both be burned again? Can Hope ever trust her heart to Chase after what he did? Can Chase bear to see her walk out on him a second time? And what about Hope’s boyfriend, Phillip? Where does he fit into the picture that Hope is developing?
Set-up: Chase and Hope are twelve and are exploring the corn maze he cut into his uncle’s corn field.
With a loud cry, he jumped out in front of her.
Hope’s scream of terror hurt his ears. She stumbled backward, landing on her rump in some mud. She stared up from where she lay, resting on both elbows for a second. “You are so-o-o-o dead!”
“Oh, come on,” he responded amiably, ready to make peace. “I’ll help you up.” He reached his hand out to her.
She stretched out to clasp it, but not before she had clutched a handful of mud.
“Ugg!” Chase, mud dripping from his palm, was unable to hide his delight at her deception. “Now you’re dead!”
She laughed but scrambled to her feet, pushing him off balance. She ran with wild abandon down the path. He waited, good-naturedly, until the count of ten, giving her a head start, and then took off. Although dusk was playing tricks on his eyes, it was easy to find her by listening to the laughter as she ducked into several of the side paths.
But abruptly her laughter ended, replaced by a loud thud and Hope calling out his name in fear and pain. Chase picked the path he thought she was on, and ran as fast as he could through the green walls hemming the trail. He turned a corner, and saw her up ahead.
She was rocking back and forth, clutching her leg and moaning. As he got closer, he saw her white sneaker, despite the gathering darkness, wedged underneath a tree root. It snaked across the path where it had wound close to the edge of the field.
He raced up and crouched down beside her. Her face was contorted as if she were trying not to cry. “What happened?”
“O-o-o-h! It’s my ankle.” She spoke through gritted teeth, although unable to keep the tears in check now.
Chase looked from the ankle of her extended leg, which still had a sneaker on it, to the ankle of the leg she was hanging on to, whose foot was bare. It was clear, even to him, the latter was swollen considerably. Her foot also seemed to jut out at a strange angle.
“I’ll go get help.”
He was already halfway down the path when she called out, nearly hysterical, “Chase! Please, wait! Come back. Come back. Don’t leave me here!”
He returned to her side, where she was crying in earnest now, and squatted down, rubbing her back. She kept repeating over and over again, “Please don’t leave me. I don’t want to stay here by myself. Please don’t leave.”
“It’s okay, Hope,” he responded quietly, sitting down next to her. “I’m not leaving.” He put an arm around her and she leaned in, her tears dampening his shirt.
“It hurts! It hurts,” she whimpered.
“I know it does.”
He looked down the path, longing to return to the house for his dad. But the dark was falling quickly now, and he knew Hope would be afraid out in the cornfield alone.
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.
Thanks for hosting me again, Elke! It’s been fun!
It was my pleasure, MJ! All the best with your rocking romance collection!