To Hell in a Coach Bag

#FiveOnFriday with MJ Schiller

Please welcome MJ Schiller back! We’re trading posts today, and I’m so happy to have her here with us!

Good morning, all!

For my Five For Friday I chose to answer five of Mary’s questions so you can learn a little bit more about me. So, let’s go!

When did you first think about writing a book? Did you write it then, or put it off for a few years?

I believe I’ve written all my life, but I didn’t start to pursue it seriously until I turned forty. That big milestone had me thinking. You know that book people always say I should write? Maybe it’s time to do that!

Why did you decide to become an author?

I don’t think it was a conscious decision. I was just one of those really imaginative kids at school. A dreamer. Someone who looked at the world a little differently. And I loved what words could do—make you laugh, inspire you, touch you, make you think—the possibilities are really endless!

What inspired you to write this book?

This book is semi-autobiographical. It cracks me up when readers say they believe something isn’t realistic when it is something that came directly from my life. For instance, I’ve had complaints that someone on a lunch lady’s salary couldn’t afford a Coach bag. I was a lunch lady, and while I didn’t have a Coach bag, my girlfriend/coworker probably had at least a half dozen of them, along with other designers’ work. One of our lunch ladies was a doctor’s wife. People don’t always work for money. And if you aren’t working for money, a lunch lady is the perfect job for you. You work the same days your kids are in school, and you can see them during the day. Best of all, you can go home and take a nap before they get finished. (I hear a stampede of ladies heading out to fill out job applications at their nearest school ;)!

Where do your ideas for stories come from?

Mostly from music. When I listen to the song, I let the music move me, but I also imagine the story behind the song. Did the rock star really have a girlfriend that awful? Was their father mean like that? My thoughts start there, and characters begin to come alive!

What’s usually the first thing that sparks a story idea? (For example, you come up with a title, a character, an idea, a setting, etc. and the story grows from there.)

Besides music, there are a few other things that get my imagination going. Sometimes a title will come to mind. Several in the DEVILISH DIVAS SERIES were ones that we discovered at work. Someone would say something, then someone else would say, “that would make a great title. M.J., you need to write a book with that title.” I’m happy to oblige. The imagery of being TRAPPED UNDER ICE, frozen by your past, inspired a novel. In that book, the heroine is a romance novelist/lunch lady (hmm…) and one of her titles was ABANDON ALL HOPE, which ended up being the second book in that ROCKING ROMANCE SERIES. DAMAGE DONE started with a line running through my head. “Even through bloodshot eyes he could tell she was different.” I thought that would make a great first line. Funny thing is, after I wrote the story, that line ended up in the middle, but I had another fun first line, so that was okay. ☺ So, you can see, just about anything and everything inspires me!

Thanks for letting me babble on about myself. How about you tell me a little bit about yourself. What do you look for most in a book? What draws you in? The title? The cover? A great first line? The premise?

The e-copy of TO HELL IN A COACH BAG is on sale right now for 99¢, and I think it will be when this posts. (Although, the publisher is in charge of that, so I’m not 100% sure.) Even at its normal price, it’s a fun read. Check it out….

To Hell in a Coach BagBlurb

Four Midwest lunch ladies on a cross-country road trip…

But the road to love can be rocky. What can save Alex’s marriage when her hubby’s driving her crazy? How can Max ever feel close to her man again when he never puts out? And just when Dani and Tucker are getting close, dreams of Darren’s death begin to haunt her. Can she move past them? And what about Sam? Although Kyle’s logged some serious ice time, her cold shoulder may put his heart in perma-freeze.

Is happiness around the next corner? Or are these four women simply headed TO HELL IN A COACH BAG?

Buy Links

Amazon:  http://mybook.to/ToHellInACoachBag

Barnes and Noble, paperback:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-mj-schiller/1126065861

Nook book: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-mj-schiller/1126065861?ean=9781614179542

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-the-devilish-divas-series-book-1

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-the-devilish-divas-series-book-1/id1220690386

Excerpt (from Maxine’s point of view)

Standing in JC Penney’s lingerie section, I held up the skimpy red puff of lace and satin. The black fur veeing to the crotch really added a touch of class.

“Nah-ah.”

I hung it back on the rack, glancing around again to see if anyone I knew was in the vicinity. An older lady glanced my way, and I quickly bent, pretending to tie my shoe. Then, realizing they were slip-ons, I had to act like I was scratching my calf, which seemed lame. I moved to a table with sensible panties and kept my eye on Grandma.

Come on. Come on. Don’t you have something else to do? Like knit something?

She finally moved across the aisle to a display of blouses with huge, tacky multi-colored flowers sprawled all over them.

That’s right, I silently encouraged. That’s more your style.

I slid back over to the naughty girl rack, picking up a jade green number. I stared at it, then twisted it around. Was this the back? Or the front? I lifted a few straps with snaps on them.

What the hell are these for? I put it back, shaking my head. Too complicated. I lifted off a sheer pink teddy.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted her. Mrs. McCumpfry, my son, John’s, English teacher. I ducked behind the rack, clasping the teddy to my chest, my heart beating wildly. I can’t let Mrs. McCumpfry see me with naughtywear. My Spidey senses began to tingle and I slid my gaze across the aisle in the opposite direction. Grandma was staring at me, her mouth hanging open. She closed it, put a fist on a cocked hip and frowned at me.

Quit judging. You’d be doing everything you could to get a little action, too. If you’d ever had any.

I immediately felt guilty about thinking so poorly of her. A little guilty. Luckily she turned away. I crouched, hopping a little to relieve my cramped feet. How long was I going to have to stay here? After several minutes, I took a chance and rose. Mrs. McCumpfry was directly across from me, manhandling the lapel of a display suit. I gasped and slammed the pink outfit back onto the rack. I ducked around a partition, leaning against the wall and breathing deeply.

Author Bio

M.J. Schiller is a recently retired 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-three-year-old and three twenty-one-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.

Author Links

Website: http://www.mjschillerauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MJ-Schiller-Romance-Author/286382241460365?ref=hl

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mjschiller/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjschiller

Tumblr: http://mjschilz.tumblr.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mjschiller

Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/110797684036386240402/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6479377.M_J_Schiller

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.J.-Schiller/e/B009JOQFQQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

#FiveOnFriday with MJ Schiller

MJ Schiller is back with us today! If you haven’t picked up To Hell In A Coach Bag yet, I bet this will convince you!

Five Reasons to like TO HELL IN A COACH BAG

LOVE ~ not only do you have love, you have love four times over! Two married women whose marriages are on the rocks, two single women with baggage. Can they all find their happily-ever-after?

LAUGHTER ~ and lots of it! From purse rescuing to lingerie purchasing, these characters put the AWK in AWKWARD!

LINKS to you (relates) ~ You’ll recognize the issues these women are struggling with, and the bond of friendships that supersede all else.

LIKEABLE CHARACTERS ~ you know these women. You’ve met them before. One of them may be your best friend, your boss, your sister. They are flawed, but fabulous. Real and ridiculous at the same time. They’re the kind of women you’d love to hang out with.

LITTLE OFF-BEAT MUSICAL REFERENCES ~ not only do Sam and Dani have an ongoing challenge to be the first to name the artist of every song they hear, they also like to analyze lyrics. You may find yourself doing it, too, after this read! When you actually sit and think about lyrics, they can be kind of silly.

So get out there and buy yourself a copy. And get one for your best bud while you’re at it! 😉

To Hell in a Coach BagBlurb

Four Midwest lunch ladies on a cross-country road trip…

But the road to love can be rocky. What can save Alex’s marriage when her hubby’s driving her crazy? How can Max ever feel close to her man again when he never puts out? And just when Dani and Tucker are getting close, dreams of Darren’s death begin to haunt her. Can she move past them? And what about Sam? Although Kyle’s logged some serious ice time, her cold shoulder may put his heart in perma-freeze.

Is happiness around the next corner? Or are these four women simply headed TO HELL IN A COACH BAG?

Buy Links

Amazon:  http://mybook.to/ToHellInACoachBag

Barnes and Noble, paperback:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-mj-schiller/1126065861

Nook book: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-mj-schiller/1126065861?ean=9781614179542

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-the-devilish-divas-series-book-1

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag/id1287744809?mt=11

Excerpt

The heads popped up in unison, and Maxine stared at Sam who was pale as a ghost. “I am so sorry.”

“That’s okay,” Sam answered quickly.

“Okay?” Alex screamed. “That’s a four-hundred-dollar Coach purse.”

That got my attention. I stuck out my head. “Excuse me, ladies, but I couldn’t help but overhear. Did you say four-hundred-dollar purse?”

“Oh, Tucker,” Maxine wailed, grabbing ahold of my shirt with both fists. “You have to get that purse.”

“O-o-okay.” Was she the next to crack? I started to leave, but Max called me back.

“Oh, and Tucker, be careful.”

“I will,” I replied, bewildered. It wasn’t like I was going to have to scale the edge of the building to get it. There were stairs.

It was not until I got below that I understood her statement. The billion-dollar purse was stuck on a tree branch hanging over a muddy ravine separating the tennis courts from the outer courtyard. Here and there, quaint little bridges crossed the ravine. There had been some recent mountain storms, and it was plenty full at that point. I looked up to the balcony where the three women watched me.

“How much did you say this purse cost?” I yelled.

“Four-hundred dollars,” they yelled in unison.

As I leaned against the tree trunk and took off my loafers, I glared at them, wondering about the twisty path that brought me to this. I jumped and caught a low branch, then muscled my way to sit on it.

“Oh, my!” Maxine exclaimed.

I analyzed the branch the purse was hooked on and noted no branches were near enough to reach it. One above it appeared questionable, with patches of stripped bark. I climbed higher, hoping to angle my way down, and finally made it to a position where I was directly above it. I laid flat on the branch, holding on with one hand. The other I tried to extend to the purse. I was within inches. Pushing a little farther, I leaned to my right and gave my reach the added inch, and I snagged it.

“Got it!” I called triumphantly. But as I did, my weight carried me around the branch, and I found myself hanging upside down, with my arms and legs wrapped around the branch. Squeals of delight came from the Musketeers, but I ignored them and concentrated on my predicament.

I needed to free my hands to walk myself back in, so I stuck the handle of the purse in my mouth, careful not to leave bite marks on the expensive leather. But when I returned my hand to the branch, an unpleasant noise sounded over the rush of the water below. I prayed the crack came from another branch, and held very still, just in case. To my relief, nothing happened.

Until I began to inch back toward the trunk, at which point a very loud CRACK rent the air. Oh shit. My stomach lurched as I fell through the air, hitting several smaller branches on my way down. I landed with a thud on the soggy bank.

From above came a threefold gasp, followed by a hushed silence.

I assessed my condition, moving to determine if anything was broken. Sore yes, broken no. So, I rose, covered in mud like a horror movie swamp monster. It was smeared on my face, in my hair, and all over my white shirt. I held out my hands as they dripped and looked at my trio of spectators.

“Oh, good. You still have it,” Sam yelled happily.

Author Bio

Bestselling author M.J. Schiller is a retired 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-two-year-old and three twenty-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.

Author Links

Website: http://www.mjschillerauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MJ-Schiller-Romance-Author/286382241460365?ref=hl

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mjschiller/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjschiller

Tumblr: http://mjschilz.tumblr.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mjschiller

Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/110797684036386240402/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6479377.M_J_Schiller

#FiveOnFriday with MJ Schiller

Please welcome MJ Schiller! She’s sharing five teasers with us today! You guys are going to love this!

I thought I’d do something a little different today. Writing is creating pictures with words. As much as I love doing that, I also enjoy creating pictures with…well, words and pictures. So today I wanted to share a few teasers from the first book in my chick lit DEVILISH DIVAS SERIES, TO HELL IN A COACH BAG!

Danielle (Dani), Samantha (Sam), Maxine (Max), and Alexis (Alex)- They are four lunch ladies on a wild cross-country trip. Will they find love? Or are they headed TO HELL IN A COACH BAG?

The first teaser is from the opening scene of TO HELL IN A COACH BAG. Dani and Samantha are on their way to a rock concert…

To Hell in a Coach Bag, teaser #1

The second teaser is from a love scene between Kyle and Sam. To give you an idea of what these two are like, in the third book, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, which I’m editing now, Tucker says that something is insane, but follows it up with, but so are Sam and Kyle…

To Hell in a Coach Bag, teaser #2

The third teaser is Kyle and Samantha again, but this time they’re not getting along as well. Sam is having a hard time admitting that she’s interested in Kyle, and claims to be at the hockey game because she’s a big fan…

To Hell in a Coach Bag, teaser #3

Teaser number four is from an intense tennis game that Dani and Tucker engage in…

To Hell in a Coach Bag, teaser #4

And number five, well, it’s Sam and Kyle again.

To Hell in a Coach Bag, teaser #5

To Hell in a Coach Bag

To Hell in a Coach BagThe first in the DEVILISH DIVAS SERIES ~ “Funny, sexy, emotionally deep, imaginative, well-written, addictive. Enjoyed it very much!” -Amazon reviewer

Four Midwest lunch ladies on a cross-country road trip…

DANIELLE~When a twist of fate reunites the widowed Dani with the hot roadie she met at a concert, will she have the guts to open up to Tucker and perhaps start a new relationship?

SAMANTHA~Wild divorcee Sam discovers Kyle, the Canadian referee she met at the same concert, is in town for a Colorado Avalanche game. Although Kyle’s logged some serious ice time, Sam’s cold shoulder may put his heart in perma-freeze.

ALEXIS~What can save Alex’s marriage when her unemployed hubby’s driving her crazy?

MAXINE~When mid-life hormones make Max a sex-starved loon, can she ever feel close to her man again when he doesn’t put out?

Two women whose marriages are on the rocks~Will time apart from their spouses help them weather their matrimonial storms?

Two single women who equate love with pain~Will they open themselves up to new possibilities?

Four friends~Could their destination be Love? Or are they simply headed to Hell in a Coach bag?

Excerpt (from Tucker’s point of view) ~

Well, this is working up to be one hell of a morning. I stared at Sam’s door. First, Dani’s acting strangely. Then Kyle’s throwing a gasket. Why not go for the crazy trifecta?

I knocked on Sam’s door. “Sam? It’s me, Tucker. Can I come in?”

Maxine and Alex stood with their mouths wide open. I waited several seconds, but received no reply. Fed up, I went back into Dani’s room—luckily, the door hadn’t shut all the way. I knew there was an adjoining door to Sam’s room in there, so I went for it. I knocked on it. Probably thinking it was Dani, Sam opened right away.

“Oh, Tucker, I-I—”

Her eyes were red and puffy. She held a Kleenex in her hand and other used tissues were wadded on the bed and nightstand. Why was I suddenly starting to feel like I checked into the Hotel California instead of a resort in Colorado? You can check out, but you can never leave.

“Sam, what’s going on? Did Kyle do something?”

Her chin started to quiver, and then she wailed, “No!” She flung herself on my chest, sobbing. I patted her awkwardly on the back and wondered if I clicked my heels three times, could I just go home. On second thought, maybe this hotel was really located in Beverly Hills 90210, because the drama was epic.

“Okay, okay. If Kyle didn’t do anything, why are you mad at him?”

“I’m not mad at him, damn it.”

A throbbing began in my right temple. “You’re not? Well, it sure sounded like it.”

“That’s because I wanted him to go away,” she said, blubbering.

I knew I was going to regret asking the next question, but I guess I felt compelled. “But, why did you want him to go away, sweetheart?”

“Because,” she answered, as if the answer was obvious, “I think I might be falling in love with him.”

I stared at her, dumbfounded. “MAXINE! ALEX! GET IN HERE!” Obviously, I did not speak girl, because this conversation made absolutely no sense to me.

Buy Now

Amazon:  http://mybook.to/ToHellInACoachBag

Barnes and Noble, paperback:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-mj-schiller/1126065861

Nook book: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-mj-schiller/1126065861?ean=9781614179542

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-the-devilish-divas-series-book-1

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-the-devilish-divas-series-book-1/id1220690386

Thank you for having me! I’ll be back soon to share more from TO HELL IN A COACH BAG!

Author 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-two-year-old and three twenty-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.

Website: http://www.mjschillerauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MJ-Schiller-Romance-Author/286382241460365?ref=hl

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mjschiller/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjschiller

Tumblr: http://mjschilz.tumblr.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mjschiller

Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/110797684036386240402/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6479377.M_J_Schiller

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.J.-Schiller/e/B009JOQFQQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1