Monday Magic Presents M J Schiller

I’m pleased to introduce M J Schiller and her book Taken by Storm. It’s an exciting read, a wonderful love story. But before we share more information on that, let’s hear from M J and put her on the hot seat.

Callie:  Welcome, M J. It’s so nice to have another Crimson Romance author on my website the same day my Crimson Romance releases. Now, if you could be a character in one of your books, who would it be, and why?

I’d have to say Beth, from my next book, which will be coming out in January. In Trapped Under Ice, Beth Donovan is sort of me, or an idealized me. (She’s skinnier, prettier, wittier, and more thoughtful!) Beth is a lunch lady/romance writer, like myself, only she ends up with the rock star. So, basically, it’s my wildest fantasy come true.

Callie: So nice to play around with our fantasies isn’t it? Now, if you hadn’t decided to become a writer, what other occupation can you see yourself in?

I think I would enjoy being a book cover artist. I would have a lot to learn about graphic design, and would need a lot of experience before I became good at it, but I find it interesting. If I could learn the ins and outs, I think I might be good at it.

Callie:  Maybe one day you’ll be designing your own book covers. Who knows? Do you prefer redeemable villains, or like them nasty through and through?

A little of both, if that’s possible? My villains are pretty dark characters, but I’d at least like my readers to see why they are that way. Their backgrounds and motivations don’t excuse their behaviors, by any means, but they do explain them.

Callie: Everyone seems to have a different way to do things, so how do you pick the names of your characters?

I actually have a list I compiled, with girls from work, of sexy male names and female names we like. Last names are harder, for me. I want it to be somewhat distinctive, but not “out there,” and, of course, it has to fit with the first name I’ve chosen. For my new release, “Taken by Storm,” I had to do things a little differently. Since the book is set in a fictional place a lot like Persia, I couldn’t draw my names from my standard list. I looked up Persian names and then scanned for names that sounded right for my character, and whose meaning fit them. For example, Bashea, the heroine, means “lips of the Gods,” and this actually comes into play in the story.

Callie: I imagine an exotic place like that would require different types of names. Is finding the right title easy or hard?

Most of the time it’s pretty easy for me. I even have one book inspired by the title! “Taken by Storm” was a little harder. The editors at Crimson Romance didn’t like my original title, and I agreed with their arguments. We tossed about a lot of names, most of which ended up sounding corny, but when I came up with “Taken by Storm,” I knew it was the one. It fits the book on so many levels.

Callie:  I agree, I think it’s a wonderful name. Speaking of Crimson, what did you do immediately after receiving your first ‘call?’

Having had a book contract turn sour in the past, (the company closed before it even opened) I tempered my enthusiasm. Now that the book is being released, I’m thrilled! It was also neat that within a few weeks, two of my good friends were offered contracts on books they’d been writing, too.

Now a little bit about who you are:

Jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers, or pencil skirt, silk blouse, and killer heels?
I’d like to think I’m a pencil skirt, silk blouse, and killer heels kind of girl trapped within a jean, t-shirt, and tennies kind of body.

Thanks for having me, Callie! This was fun!
M.J. Schiller

Blurb for Taken by Storm:

Born from the fire of a palace coup, the relationship between the king of Avistad’s son Prince Tahj and the captive girl Bashea burns with a passion that neither of them quite understands. The pair is drawn closer together as they face enemy soldiers, a screaming panther, even the scathing winds of a desert storm.

After what she has been through, Bashea is afraid to trust and her fiery nature is both what appeals to Tahj and what drives him crazy. It takes a long separation to bring them back to each other, but when Tahj does return, it is once again during a battle with his greatest enemy, Lord Boltar. But now Lord Boltar, who has been forced beyond reason by Tahj’s success in retaking the throne, is an even more dangerous threat than before. Reunited, will Tahj and Bashea be strong enough to defeat their twisted and powerful enemy?

Find Taken by Storm at Amazon,, and through most e-Book retailers.
Visit me at, M.J. on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Also post Crimson:

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21 Responses to Monday Magic Presents M J Schiller

  1. Good morning, Callie! Happy Monday, all! Thanks for hosting me here today. I enjoyed talking with you and wish you the best of luck with your new release.

  2. Callie says:

    Hi MJ, So nice to have you on here today. I’m offline every weekday until a little past noon time (CT). Have fun. I’ll check back with y’all later.

  3. R.T. Wolfe says:

    A book cover artist? Now I know something new about you.
    I’ve enjoyed following your guest blog appearances. I think you should add ‘singer’ to your other potential careers. Or just stick with writing, because your books are truly wonderful. I enjoy how you seemlessly bring me into the worlds you create. Your characters are real, diverse and ones I can always empathize with. Looking forward to Trapped Under Ice!
    R.T. Wolfe

    • Oh, R.T.! You are so kind and such a loyal fan! Singer? As you know, I do like to karaoke! It’s such a kick to just let it go and sing a song you really like! Thank you for the compliments, and thank you for taking your valuable time to stop by today.

    • Callie says:

      Finally got the chance to stop by here. Always good to see you, Tanya.

  4. Lynn Cahoon says:

    Hi MJ- (And Callie – happy release day.)

    “I’d like to think I’m a pencil skirt, silk blouse, and killer heels kind of girl trapped within a jean, t-shirt, and tennies kind of body.” HA! I LOVE this. That’s me too. Except I really like dressing up my jeans with a silky shirt, blazer and boots.

    Great interview.

    • Yeah, Lynn, the jeans and silky shirt is a good look. And boots always make me feel like a bad-ass, (even though a tough third grader could probably take me out!) Would be just the thing to wear to a book release party for your books, “The Bull Rider’s Brother,” and “The Bull Rider’s Manager.” I was excited to learn the other day that the bull rider is getting his own book. Sure he was tired of playing second fiddle! Thanks for taking time out from your busy day to say hi and best of luck with your writing!

    • Callie says:

      Yessss! that silky blouse with jeans and boots is an awesome outfit. Love it.

  5. Tara Mills says:

    Lovely interview and beautiful website! MJ, your personality just resonates in your answers. If it comes through in your writer’s ‘voice’ as well, you’ve just taken your first steps on an incredible and successful writing journey. Can’t wait to see how your map unfolds.

    • Thank you, Tara! I am kind of a doofus. I like to goof around a lot, but luckily most people don’t find it annoying…or at least they don’t tell me so, and I’m blissfully ignorant of that fact. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today and making the effort to stop by.

    • Callie says:

      Thanks Tara for the kind words about the website. I appreciate you stopping by.

  6. Hi MJ…love your book cover and your blurb! Also I like the fact that you’d consider designing book covers. That does sound like a job that would be fun, although I don’t know if I would have an eye for that type of All I can picture is stick figures plastered on a crayon colored background! hahaha

    Congrats on your book…sounds wonderful :)

  7. Ella Quinn says:

    Great interview. The book sounds interesting. Congratulations on your release.

  8. Ceri Hebert says:

    I would love to be a book cover designer too. Loved the interview ladies! The book sounds awesome!

  9. Hi MJ! Taken by Storm sounds wonderful, lots of heat and love. Nice one, I’m looking forward to it :)

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