#EggcerptExchange: HOMETOWN HEARTACHE by M. J. Schiller

I am participating in the Author Helping Authors – Egg-cerpt Exchange.

Today, I am featuring M. J. Schiller, author of Hometown Heartache.


new-york-gray HOMETOWN HEARTACHE teaser


Blurb ~

HometownHeartache_CVR_MEDNash is trying to make a name for himself in the art world…

But when he meets a realtor to buy a gallery, he is stunned to find Chloe sitting at the table with the man. He has never stopped thinking about her since she disappeared from his life without a trace. Is it too late to win back her love?

Chloe has finally found a way to leave her past behind her…

But her heart leaps out of her chest when she sees Nash. How can he be here? Now…after all this time? On the surface, she pulls herself back together. But underneath she feels she is about to shatter. After remaking herself, how can she deal with being faced with Nash and the life she knew before?

If this chance meeting doesn’t rip Chloe and Nash apart, he will.

Little do they know, someone has been lurking in the shadows, manipulating them all along. If he has his way, the two will never be reunited. Even if he has to take one of them out to ensure it.

Excerpt ~

Outside, I paid a valet attendant to let me park my truck near the front, so I could see her come out. Minutes later, the pair strolled through the door, Jack seeming miffed and Chloe obviously trying to reassure him. As I watched, she reached up on her tiptoes and pulled his head down to whisper in his ear. He laughed and slid his arms around her, letting his hands move down to grab her ass, tightly housed, I saw now, in a short black skirt. My eyes wandered, as his hands had, over her firm rear and the seeming endlessness of her legs, lengthened even more by the racy black heels she wore. They cut a pretty picture—Chloe, light and sensual, Jack, tall, broad-chested, with dark blond, well-groomed hair and a glowing smile. My hands gripped the steering wheel, observing until the valet maneuvered a sleek, red Ferrari into the spot in front of the hotel where the awning and red carpet ended. Jack reached to open the door for her. She folded her long legs into the vehicle, laughing, head tilted flirtatiously as her eyes danced over the high-priced realtor.

An unfamiliar tightening in my chest grabbed me, and I fought to swallow the fire which seemed to be rising within me, choking me with its intensity. I automatically steered my beat-up, blue pickup truck onto the street behind the red Ferrari, following it through the thick knots of traffic in the downtown theatre district. I could see through the rear window she was sitting nearly on top of him.

Don’t those things have stick shifts, for God’s sake?

Purchase Links ~

Author Bio ~

Profile Pic 4 even biggerMJ 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 a nineteen-year-old (how did that happen?) and seventeen 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.






Character ~

Favorite place to visit– no question, our treehouse! Nash’s and mine. Well, it’s not exactly ours, unless you count squatter’s rights. We sort of…appropriated it.
Significant other- none. Significant or not.
Worst fear or nightmare– someone touching the real me.
Favorite food– it’s gotta be za. Pizza, that is. And chocolate. Or maybe chocolate coated pizza. Now that’s an idea!
Wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between?- money actually doesn’t mean much to me. All I need is enough to pay my bills and occasionally get a new outfit. Even when I do get a new outfit, you can bet it’s an affordable one and not some designer piece.




The Writer’s Journey – Guest, Sarah Beth Williams

So, you want to be a writer: Sara Beth Williams.

If you’re reading this, maybe you made the same declaration that I did when I was a child – “I want to be a writer. I want to publish. I want to become the youngest writer.”– wait, that last bit was probably just me. I also declared I wanted to go to Harvard. You can laugh, it’s okay, I laughed, too.

I was in third grade, reading Heidi, and writing a book report, when I declared I wanted to become a writer. While I wrote a plethora of poems and bits and pieces of what could have been novel-length manuscripts, nothing came to fruition. I lacked experience, motivation, knowledge – many of the things that you gain while you age.

Mid-way through college, I wrote a YA action-adventure novel, submitted to a contest, and received it back with subpar scores. Disheartened, I spoke with a writer/editor friend who told me, “Just write the next one. Move on.”

That’s what I did.

Roughly two years ago, after setting aside my YA action-adventure, I ran across an old story I had partially written in my first year of college. It was a story that I had had no idea what to do with; a story that I couldn’t fit into a specific genre – I had no desire to write romance at age nineteen, nor did I have the desire to write Christian Romance.

The discovery of my old manuscript, along with having run across several well-written Christian romance stories in the preceding years, boosted my motivation to pick up writing again. The more Christian romance and Christian fiction I read, the more I thought, I can totally do this. I can write like this. My story ideas actually fit into this genre!

So, I re-crafted it, adding new characters. At the time, I was blessed to only have one daughter instead of two, and less family obligations. I would sit and write for hours, building upon this story, until it morphed from one book into a three-book series.

While I strived to finish this first manuscript, I scoured the internet and discovered a slew of information on what it takes to become a published author. They say knowledge is power – but only if you know how to handle it correctly and effectively. Too much knowledge is daunting, deterring to even the bravest of souls. Yet, I chose – and even now, choose – to persevere.

I’ve learned that writing in this genre takes maturity, and faith. If I want to succeed, then I must stand by what I believe and defend my written words with my actions. I’ve learned that writing in any genre, takes patience and tenacity.

I’ve learned that every experience in life builds upon itself and has purpose. I utilize many personal experiences in my novels. I used to ask my husband questions about what he felt in certain situations while we were dating. He would clam up, knowing that I was fishing for information. I still laugh about it. If I had a choice, I might go back and major in English; however, the lack of an English major doesn’t disqualify my capabilities as a writer. It may enhance – it might have given me an edge. In the grand scheme of things, every piece of life experience is valuable to you as a writer, regardless of your degree.

I’ve learned that I love to write. Writing is the fun part. It’s liberating, therapeutic; refreshing, like breathing in cool alpine air, with that faint scent of campfire smoke. Writing is what many people fall in love with. It’s the rest of the process that is complicated, time-consuming and a bit fussy.

I’ve learned that I also love to edit other writers’ works. Editing my own work is like trying to comb through my toddler’s wild curly hair.

After almost two years, a few beta readers, and a good twelve drafts, my first manuscript is complete and ready to hand off to publishers. I’ve two publishers in mind. One is more of the traditional publishing house. The other is more of a hybrid type.

I’ll leave you with one key piece of advice: if you want to become a writer, call yourself a writer and do it, even if you have to sludge through a swamp of trepidation. You are a writer when you write consistently. If you write consistently, you will discover one of two things: 1) You hate it. 2) You love it. If you love to write, then write. Regardless of how long it takes, or where it takes you.

sarahAbout the Writer

Sara Beth Williams resides in Sacramento, CA. She’s a wife and mother of two daughters and a follower of Christ. When she’s not writing, she loves to sing, read, and teach and play with children. You can find her on Twitter @williamsSaraB. You can find her blog at authorswilliams.wordpress.com

Second chances: Book 1

Fresh off his release from prison, Jacob Mathews is moving forward with his life. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend, especially one who harbors so much bitterness toward God. For Jay, his relationship with Christ has changed his life

But Lacey Bennett is irresistible, despite the risk. 

Lacey’s anger toward God stems from childhood. Fervent prayers for reconciliation between her divorced parents went unanswered. Her older sister tragically died at sixteen. How could God let these tragedies befall her family? After she discovers the reason for his past conviction, the anger she harbors within, and the refusal to forgive, threatens to destroy the relationship she has built with Jay.

Can she ever learn how to forgive?

Can Jay let her go long enough for her to heal, without knowing whether or not she’ll come back?