Thursday, 23 January 2014

Blog Tour ~ Review ~ A Girl By Any Other Name by MK Schiller

Everyone tells him he needs to move on, but how can a man function 

without his heart? 

Ten-year-old Caleb Tanner wants nothing to do with Sylvie Cranston, the 

annoying weird girl who moves next door to him and gets him in trouble 

for swearing. But at twelve, they become friends when he teaches her how 

to hook a fishing line and she shows him the value of a selfless act. At 

fourteen, he falls in love with her. 

At sixteen, she dies. 

Or so he’s told. But Cal never believes it. Sylvie has become part of his soul. 

He knows her like the steady beating of his own heart. He’d know if she was 

dead. Cal looks for her, prays for her and finally he just waits for her. 

Nine years later, she walks into the community college English class Cal is 

teaching. Only this girl claims her name is Sophie Becker and she doesn’t 

know him. Cal knows better. He’s determined to get the girl he loves back—

and protect her from the danger that took her away all those years ago.


She sat down on her swing again. “I think you’re the smartest boy I know.” 

“You’re wrong.” 

She blinked her eyes at my goofy grin. 

“I’m the smartest person you know.” 

“That can’t be, because I’m smarter than you,” she replied, jutting her chin 


“You’re a smartass. There’s a difference.” I returned to the passage I was 

reading, doing my best to ignore her. 

“Why don’t you want people to know you like to read?” 

“I don’t want to talk about it, Sylvie. You’re annoying me.” 

“Will you read one to me?” 

“We’re supposed to be paying attention to the sermon. The only reason my 

momma lets me sit out here with you is because she thinks we listen to it.” 

“You’re not listening.” She had me there. “Just read me one. Your favourite 

one. Please?” 

I sighed. “Fine.” 

I flipped to my favourite poem and quietly read The Raven to her I flipped 

to my favourite poem and quietly read The Raven to her. When I looked up, 

she was staring at me with wide eyes and a wistful smile. Even my ignorant 

eleven-year-old self could appreciate that smile. 

“It’s so pretty. I wonder what it means.” 

“I know what it means. He thought he heard the ghost of some girl named 

Lenore who he used to know, but it was just some stupid bird screaming 

that he’d never see her again.” 

“That sounds sad and romantic.” 

“Romantic? He was crazy,” I said, twirling my finger next to my head. 

“I think it is. He had to love her very much if he kept searching for her.” 

“Maybe he just went batshit.” 

“Cal, don’t swear. We’re in church,” she scolded, wagging her finger at me.

“It’s okay. We’re outside of it,” I said, gesturing to the open space between 

us and the building. 

“God can hear everything.” 

I chuckled. “Yeah, but my momma can’t.” She punched me in the arm. “Did 

you just punch me or was it the wind? ’Cause I can’t tell.” 

“Very funny.” She looked off into the woods, and I wondered if she was 

going to bolt early. “I think there might be a raven calling to me too. Do you 

think I’m crazy?” 

“Heck yeah,” I replied, impressed with myself for not saying ‘hell’. I felt 

lousy, though, when she looked at me with those big chocolate-coloured 

eyes full of sorrow. I wanted to make her feel better. I wanted her to smile 

again. I knocked my knee into hers. “Girl, you’re such a weirdo,” I said, 

finding the most poetic words my childish mind could muster. 

She laughed in that cynical way of hers. “Yeah, you’re right. Bye.” She took 

off, sprinting into the woods. 

“Hey, Sylvie,” I called after her before she blended into the landscape. She 

stopped and turned, almost out of earshot. “Let’s go fishing tomorrow after 


“I knew you’d take me,” she yelled back, giving me a real smile.

Excerpt two!

She cupped her hand over her mouth. “Did you just quote Mr Darcy?” 

“I did. You see I can appreciate art, but I prefer the written word to 

the visual experience. So please allow me to paint a picture for you.” I 

cleared my throat. “‘I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of 

understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little 

yielding—certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget 

the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offences against 

myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. 

My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion, once lost, is 

lost forever.’” I finished the Darcy monologue with another bow. 

“Holy hell, that was hot.” 

I stood, grinning at her, backing her farther against the wall, a hand on 

either side of her head, in our own little world. “That turned you on, my 

love? Let me assure you, it’s just the tip of my knowledge base. Would you 

prefer poetry? Maybe Keats, Wordsworth or Blake? How about the female 

perspective? Emily Dickinson, perhaps? I know them all. I can sonnet you 

all night. And yes, I use the term as a verb because the way I do it is an


She waved her hand in front of her face, fanning herself. “All night?” she 

asked, arching her brow, a sexy smile curling her lips. 

“I have plenty of material. I hold a Master’s in literature, and words are my

medium of choice.”

“I think you may have just mastered me, sir.”

I jerked my head towards the exit. “Shall we take our leave?” 

“Yes,” she whispered.

About MK Schiller . . .

I am a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. I have a full 
time life and two busy teenagers, but by night, I sit by the warm glow of 
my computer monitor, and attempt to conjure up passionate heartwarming 

stories with plenty of humor.

I started imagining stories in my head at a very young age. In fact, I got so 

good at it that my best friend asked me to make up stories featuring her as 

the heroine and the boy she currently liked as the hero. We'd spend hours 

on the phone while I came up with a series of unrealistic, yet tender events 

led the object of her desire to finally profess his love. You've heard of fan 

fiction... this was friend fiction.

Even with that, it took many years to realize I could produce an actual full 

length book that readers would enjoy. I try to make my stories humorous, 

realistic, with characters who are flawed but redeeming. I hope you enjoy 

my stories and never stop searching for your happily ever after.

Ramblings . . .

How lucky are we that we received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

          If this is how 2014 is kicking off with books then it’s going to be a good year for us readers!

          A.mazing! This book literally blew my mind! I’m gonna try to keep it vague because I don’t want to spoil the book for you, it’s really one that you HAVE to read, not only because it’s fan-bloody-tastic but because it cannot be described in words. It’s just one of those books that you need to experience for yourself.

          A Girl By Any Other Name is a story about true love and how it prevails against all else. It stands the test of time and a thousand obstacles. This story has originality and twists and turns that pounce from nowhere. I was totally blindsided at one point.

          I took an instant liking to the characters. This was easy because the story begins in the past where our main characters meet as children. An unexpected friendship forms between Caleb and Sylvie and it’s beautiful to read. This friendship develops and blossoms into an untold love as the years pass by.

          Sylvie is troubled from a young age despite never revealing herself to anyone except Cal and even then she never opens herself completely. Despite suffering a life-time worth of pain and suffering within a short period of time, Sylvie is a free-spirited, kind-hearted character. She is strong and courageous and selfless. She places everyone before herself despite fully deserving the right to wallow, she never does, not once.

          Then there is Cal, who is my new book boyfriend, oh yes hello ladies. Future Cal is an English tutor. Using literature as his escape and also as his tool in finding Sylvie, who has long since vanished. He really has the whole package. Hot and smart. Quoting classic literature one minute (seriously swoony) then whispering dirty nothings and taking full control in the bedroom. I love them both and you will be rooting for them!

The story jumps between the past, which is actually a story within the story written by Cal, and the present day where Cal is searching for his ‘Lenore’. I love how the story is told and it flows perfectly.

My heart was broken for Sylvie, then it broke for Cal. I was pained reading this. It really is torturous for a while but hang in there because the ending is so worth it.

Absolutely beautiful. Shocking. Freaking impossible to put down. My eyes were burning because I just couldn’t put it down. I had to keep reading until I had finished.

A real stand up – original story. Very clever Mk Schiller. My new author crush!


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