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?
Before the hubs and I leave for a long vacation, including a three day craft show in the glorious 1,000 Islands Region of Northern New York State, Wild Women Authors is thrilled to welcome back author MJ Schiller and Maxwell Theobald III, protagonists from MJ's latest, Blackout. Here we go . . .
That's quite a handle, pal. What do we call you? You can just call me Max, or Doc. That’s what everyone else does. Except my parents.
Where are you from? Albany, New York
Tell us a bit about Blackout. It is is Faith's and my story. And Faith and Eli’s story. Confusing? You bet it is!
What did you think the first time you saw Faith? Hel-lo! She was walking home to her apartment from her job at the diner. Her path happened to wander right by the construction site where Eli and I were working.
What was your second thought? Well, when I could think again, I wondered about my reaction to her. I mean, I’d dated some pretty hot numbers back in Albany, but Faith was different. Gorgeous, yes. But different. Fresh. Sweet. Innocent, even.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Uuh…I don’t know how to answer that. It was definitely something at first sight. But love? No. Not at that point. But when I got to know her a little, I was a goner.
What do you like most about her? Everything. No, really. Everything. She funny, cute, smart. She doesn’t take any guff from me, and I can usually work my way around any woman.
How would you describe Faith? She’s…wonderful. She loves whole-heartedly. People, and just life in general. She makes the best out of each day and takes away the best from each person. She’s amazing.
How would she describe you? Ha. A joker. A cad. A loser. No. That’s my interpretation. She’d say I was easy to get along with. That we have a lot of fun together. Ahh. I don’t know. You’d have to ask her.
What made you choose medicine as a career? Well, my parents were both doctors. So I guess you could say it ran in the blood. I was always pretty good at school, and I figured, if you’ve got a gift like that you should use it to help people. It’s interesting stuff, too, the human body.
What is your biggest fear? Losing Faith. It takes a lot of guts to admit that, but that’s the honest answer.
How do you relax? I’m a pretty active guy. I like to run, swim, hike. I enjoy a good book, a good bottle of Merlot, and music. Sometimes all at the same time.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Tom Sawyer. That kid was smooth.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Huh. I guess, follow your heart. Of course that was before I knew I had one.
Thanks, Max. Let's talk with MJ for a moment. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? There was this one children’s book about the Civil War. I’m sorry, I can’t remember the name of it, but each chapter was from a different character’s point of view. A Union soldier, a Confederate seamstress, a father to soldiers on both sides. The way multiple characters can look at one event and interpret it in their own way I find fascinating.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Umm…there is a trunk that Faith describes from her childhood that is one my brother owned growing up. And I was a waitress for a time, like Faith.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I was originally with Crimson Romance, but I self-publish all of my work now.
What project[s] are you working on now? Some fun ones. I’m finishing up the third in my Romantic Knights Trilogy and a women’s fiction novel about four lunch ladies on a cross-country road trip and their love interests.
What's up next for you? Well, I’m taking a trip to Ireland in the Fall and I can’t wait!
Ahh, Ireland. Been there, done that, twice!! The beauty is indescribable. The serenity is soul infusing. Almost immediately we knew we could easily spend the rest of our lives there. Have a wonderful time.
MJ brought along an excerpt from Blackout . . .
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.
To learn more about MJ Schiller and the stories she creates, go to:
To purchase Blackout, go to: