Please help me welcome author M.J. Schiller to the blog! She’s sharing a wonderful about first love and how she met her husband. It reminded me so much of own personal story I smiled the entire time I read it. I think you’ll enjoy it. Afterward check out her latest release Leap Into The Knight.
Take it away M.J…
LEAP INTO LOVE
Do you believe in love at first sight? I have to admit to reading other authors’ reviews from time to time. I want to see what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong and perhaps learn something from that. I sometimes notice readers have a hard time swallowing the whole love at first sight premise. But I don’t. I don’t because it happened to me.
Let me take you back to 1986. My husband’s dorm was across the quad from my dorm which was across the quad from a bar that served underage drinkers. (If that’s not a recipe for love, I don’t know what is!) Now I’m going to tell you something, and you’re going to think I’m crazy, and you might not be too far from wrong, but the first time I met my husband was like the scene where Tony meets Maria in West Side Story. If you haven’t seen West Side Story, check it out on Netflix. It’s fun and it will rip your heart out at the same time. Good movie watching! When the two meet, all of the other characters at the dance fade away. It was like that when I met my man. For a few seconds it was just the two of us at that bar that served underage drinkers. All the others faded into the background. I was thinking, who is this incredibly good-looking guy? And why haven’t I seen him before? The next second I was thinking, he probably has a girl back home and leaves on the weekends to visit her and that’s why I’ve never seen him. That was like throwing a bucket of cold water on my happy little love scene! The reason my mind went there was because I had been seeing a guy first semester and he basically told me to make myself scarce one weekend because his girl from back home was coming up to visit. I was heartbroken.
Anyway, the night I met my husband I came home and told my roommate that I’d met the man I was going to marry. I believe she rolled her eyes. I can’t blame her because I had had a crush on half a dozen guys my first semester and she’d seen it before. But this was different. I bet her a steak dinner. Twenty nine years later, I am still head over heels in love with that man I met in February of 1986, and I still haven’t gotten my steak dinner.
You know that phrase, truth is stranger than fiction. Some time when you are reading and come across a scene you think is unbelievable, think about a time in your life that people wouldn’t believe what happened to you. Odd things happen all the time, especially people recognizing the one they love right when they meet them.
That being said, the author does have the responsibility of making that moment seem genuine to you. But at the same time I think that when readers are able to suspend their imagination for a while, they are in for some good reads. Go where the author takes you. Don’t question every detail. That’s for audit sheets, not fiction.
The first time Darius and Maggie meet in LEAP INTO THE KNIGHT he knows that something is different. Here’s the scene, from page one of the novella.
Darius Lee sat up in bed and listened to the darkness. What interrupted his sleep and caused him to become so fully awake? Several seconds elapsed while he held his breath and waited, but he heard no noise. Still, he was aware someone else was in the suite he shared with his young novice, Orion Quinn. He closed his eyes and tuned into his Spirit Within in order to get a feel for his current level of danger. He sensed at once the outside presence he felt in the room was not threatening. Despite that, he knew something must be amiss for a stranger to enter their rooms unannounced in the middle of the night.
He had been uneasy since he and Orion landed here on Faador on their latest mission. It all started when The Academy of The High Order, where Darius gained his knighthood, received a transmission from an older man dressed in uniform. The man stated Faador’s leader, Justin Filithy, held captive a woman, a princess, from another planet. Little was known about Filithy other than he had some questionable dealings with slave traders. Details of the princess’s abduction were sketchy too, as the communication was cut short. The Order sent Orion and him to quietly investigate any wrong doing under the guise of a routine security check. Yet, ever since they arrived, the leader was occupied elsewhere. In fact, the whole place was crawling with guards and he surmised they were under a high alert of some kind, but no one provided any information. A trio of soldiers stuck them in this suite and promised a meeting with Filithy the next day. He was annoyed by the delay, but since they arrived on the planet late in the afternoon it seemed reasonable to wait until morning.
He slid out from underneath his lightweight bedcover without making a sound and grabbed his clothes, which were lying on a chair beside the bed. He slipped his head through the opening in the loose-fitting shirt, but left it untied at the neck, glancing at his laser-sword leaning against the nightstand. He decided to leave it. No need to scare anyone off if they meant no harm. He would simply have to use caution.
Darius reached the door and thankfully it slid open across its tracks without the usual high-pitched hydraulic hiss. He made out a figure standing in the open doorway to the room where his novice slept. The interloper was dressed in the same slightly puffy white uniform of the guards who they’d seen in abundance ever since they arrived. He was amused at first by the fleeting thought that they resembled marshmallows. Now as he watched the shadowy form, he was curious. What reason would anyone have to steal into their rooms like this? The guard wore a white helmet as the others had, with a tinted visor which could conceal the entire face. This visor, however, was open. Darius could see it flipped on top of the helmet, no doubt so the guard could see in the dim lighting. He wondered why the sight of this stranger gazing at Orion, who was lying completely unaware and vulnerable, didn’t alarm him more. But again, something told him the intruder was frightened, even desperate, but not a threat.
His training taught him how to enter the room without a sound, but the stranger seemed to detect his presence, darting to the left toward the door leading to the outer hallway. Darius took several steps before launching his six-foot-four-inch frame, timing his tackle perfectly. He wrapped his arms around the fleeing legs, bringing both parties down heavily. On contact the stranger’s helmet flew off and skittered across the dura-tile by the entryway. The guard twisted around to try to fight him off, while Darius sought to pin his shoulders to the ground. To his immense surprise he found himself staring into the face of a beautiful, terrified young woman. Long, wavy blonde hair fanned out on the floor as she struggled to free herself from his grasp. Their gazes locked and he drew his breath in a rush. Hers were the eyes of the hunted, wide and intensely blue-green. The oddest sensation came over him, as if, in that one look, an invisible hand reached into him and somehow tied him to this unknown woman. At the same time it was like the connection had been there all his life, an answer to a question he never knew to ask.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” he whispered to calm her. Surprisingly she stilled, searching his face as if to determine something there about him. “If I let you up, do you promise to stay here and answer a few questions for me?”
“I will not harm you.” He dipped his head to better catch those eyes. “Trust me.”
Something in the way he said it seemed to convince her, and she nodded slowly. He released her arms and moved to the side. He sensed she was still tensed to flee if necessary, but for the moment, she decided to place her trust in him.
Her heart was racing madly. What was she doing? She should run. She should run as fast as she could, or at least search about the room for a way out.
She sensed him there behind her, though she heard no sound. Her immediate instinct was to flee, as well it should be. After all, she was on the run from a half dozen guards. It was only by ducking into this room a few moments ago that she avoided capture. In spite of all that, she now sat on a couch with the man. It was totally incomprehensible to her, trusting him. She learned the costly lesson of trusting in the goodness of men long ago. But when she scrutinized his face as he peered at her on the floor, she had been filled with an unfathomable sense of calm. It was the most bizarre feeling. All logic, all of her past experiences said to get out as swiftly as possible. But here she was, sitting next to this man as if it was teatime and not the middle of the night in a room where he discovered her hiding. She guessed him to be five or six years older than she. His face was strong, but kind, almost noble, and his deep, dark eyes were compassionate, with a hint of wisdom. It was the kind of face one could trust.
“Now,” he began slowly, ”why don’t you tell me exactly what you’re doing here?”
She was saved from figuring out an answer for his question by a young man who came barreling out of the door behind him. He brandished a laser-sword, yelling as he entered, “Master! I’m here!” The suddenness of the action startled them both.
The man turned slightly to say, “Orion, deactivate your weapon,” and that was all she needed. Her fear returned and catapulted her off the couch and toward the door. She hit the keypad with a force that sent a shock wave rippling up her arm, and was on the other side as soon as it opened wide enough to allow her small frame through. Once on the opposite side, she started pounding on the keypad there, and was able to effectively disable the door for a moment, enough time to search the hallway for a path of escape.
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?
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.
What about you? Does it bother you when characters fall in love too quickly? Or does it depend on how the author handles it? What are your pet peeves when reading books?
Thanks for reading, and be sure to enter my giveaway! Happy holidays to you and yours!
M.J. is giving away 4 copies of An Uncommon Love. Here is the blurb…
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?
***CLICK HERE TO ENTER***