Friday, June 12, 2015


With: MJ Schiller

Congratulations to "Jo-Anne B." and "Colleen C.", the winners in MJ's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Good morning, all! My name is M.J. Schiller and this is my first time on Just Contemporary Romance. I’ve blogged several times at Just Romantic Suspense, but BLACKOUT is my first novel that is straight contemporary romance, with no elements of suspense. I really love this novel for several reasons.

One is the way it is written, almost like diary entries, from the points of view of three of the main characters. I have two other books coming out written in this same way, but this is the first I’ve published with this particular technique. Something a little different—that’s always good, right?

Two, I actually took the shot of the stairwell that turned out to be the background photo for the cover. I think that’s kind of cool. I sent my cover artist several stock photos, but none of them were quite right. I asked the owner of the Fox and Hound building— here in downtown Bloomington, Illinois— if she would allow me to roam around and take some pictures. Vicki Tilton was very welcoming and I ended up discovering a lot of nooks and crannies that captured the feeling I was looking for. Then I just let Steven Novak, (of Novak work his usual magic!

The third reason I’m enamored of this book is the story. It’s angsty, gritty, and, in the end, a beautiful story about love, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, and loyalty. Characters are battling their inner demons, and sometimes it’s hard to tell who is going to come out on top. Let me give you a blurb so you can see what it’s all about:

Max. The consummate ladies’ man.

He’s good looking, but not an absolute knockout. With Max’s charm though, he could have any woman he wants. Once he meets Faith, he doesn’t want anyone else.

Eli. He is a knockout.

But a dark past shadows him and holds him captive. Drinking dulls the pain, but meeting Faith makes him want to change all that.

Faith. She loves them both.

When a blackout brings her together with Eli, she’s happier than she’s ever been before. When another blackout tears them apart, Max is there to pick up the pieces. But can she forget the man who first made her whole?

 And how about a little taste of what you have in store…


He was there. I remember it all—the crowded street, Max holding the car door open, a bus passing by—and then he was just there, looking…as good as ever somehow, but not looking the same. I froze and everything faded away—the honking, Max’s laughter, the tires on the road, the sounds of construction. As if God pressed His giant mute button. And Eli stood there, peering at me from across the street, and I couldn’t breathe.

Instead of his khaki green flak jacket he wore a navy, cotton jacket, unzipped. The wind tugged on the ends of it as he glanced around. His hair was shorter, but it was definitely him, hands shoved into the pockets of tan Dockers, (Eli, in Dockers?). He leaned a little against a light post, his feet crossed in front of him. When his gaze landed on me, he straightened. A bicyclist passed in front of him, a bullet of color. My mouth froze in mid-smile and my throat suddenly ached.

And then, like some cosmic explosion, everything came speeding back into place.

“Babe?” Max turned and glanced across the street, but he didn’t seem to see Eli. How, I don’t know. “What’s wrong?”

“N-nothing. Nothing,” I finally spat out, looking up into his warm, brown eyes.

“Well, are you going to get in?” He gave me a teasing smile, his handsome face serene. Max’s sandy, red-brown hair was not as long as Eli’s had been, but long enough to show a hint of sexy curl. He wore his beard closely-cropped and carried himself with a confidence and style which was inherited from his successful parents.


“In the car, you nut.”

He bent and kissed me on the lips, a sweet, simple kiss, but I pulled away; suddenly it was all wrong. He didn’t notice. He was too happy. Too happy I finally said yes. I gazed back across the street and, even though he wasn’t near enough for me to see his eyes, I knew what they looked like. I knew by the way he turned and hurried away. And Eli’s pain was mirrored in my own.

Bio ~
M.J. Schiller is a lunch lady/romance-romantic suspense writer. She enjoys writing novels whose characters include rock stars, desert princes, teachers, futuristic Knights, construction workers, cops, and a wide variety of others. In her mind everybody has a romance. She is the mother of a twenty-year-old and three eighteen-year-olds. That's right, triplets! So having recently taught four children to drive, she likes to escape from life on occasion by pretending to be a rock star at karaoke. However…you won’t be seeing her name on any record labels soon.

You can find M.J. at:

You can buy BLACKOUT at:

Well, thanks for letting me share today. I’d love if you’d share what you like in a contemporary romance. Is it the angst? The heat? The way it is easy to identify with the characters and the problems they face? Comment below and enter to win. I’m giving away two e-copies of my romantic suspense, THE HEART TEACHES BEST.

Now let me treat you to a little free romantic suspense. You can enter below for a chance to win DAMAGE DONE, my Irish romantic suspense, or click on the links below to download some free rocker romantic suspense. [As in rock music, not a rocking chair.]  ;)  I’m just full of goodies, ain’t I?

Download here:

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST June 13th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. Thank you for letting me participate on Just Contemporary Romance today! I love the "Just" sites--love the fun and easygoing hosts, love the way the readers interact with the guest posters. Thank you for providing this opportunity!

  2. I would love to read Damage Done and hope I win a copy so I can find out how things work out for Teddy and Gabrielle.


    1. I hope so, too, Jo-Anne! And thank you for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

  3. I enjoy all romances including contemporary... seeing what the characters need to overcome to find happiness... what their journeys entail... meeting so many personalities and places...

    1. A gal after my own heart! For a while I only read contemporary and romantic suspense but when I branched out to paranormals and historicals I found that a love story is great no matter when it's set, where it's set, or who the characters are, as long as it is well-written. Thanks for joining us today, Colleen!

  4. the characters and storylines

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  5. Yes, indeed! Good characters that capture your imagination and a good storyline for them to follow is essential! Thanks for joining in! Have a fabulous weekend!

  6. Nice character sketches and I love the excerpt. Good luck with this new project!

  7. Thank you, Susan! And thanks for dropping in at Just Contemporary Romance to visit with us today!

  8. So sorry I'm late! What a fabulous post. Love that you took the image of the stairs yourself. Very cool to have a personal touch in your cover. And, a phenomenal cover it is. Steven is a genius! LOVE the premise of this story. I own a copy, now I just need to find some 'me' time to read it. Best wishes!

  9. Sounds fantastic, MJ! Have to go grab a copy!

  10. Sounds fantastic, MJ! Have to go grab a copy!

  11. Sounds fantastic, MJ! Have to go grab a copy!


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