Friday, June 11, 2010

My Friend Jill Elizabeth Nelson - Interview & Giveaway

Today I'm excited to welcome Jill Elizabeth Nelson to my blog! I got to know Jill way-back-when (in like 2006) after reading her debut novel Reluctant Burglar. She helped me launch a series of promotional games that entertained us all for a while, and now I'm excited to promote her latest novel, Calculated Revenge!

Jill has offered a copy of Calculated Revenge to one lucky reader, so as usual, leave your comment and an email address below!


About Jill

My first and only marriage is still going strong after 27 years. We have four kids who've pretty much flown the coop. Yet the chickadees keep coming back to roost. Puzzling phenomenon. We must not give them enough incentive to stay away.

By day I masquerade as secretary to the CEO of a health care corporation and as housing manager for a senior apartment complex. By night I throw off my mask of conformity and turn into a wild and crazy writer who can hardly wait to jot down all the cool things my characters are telling me, so I can share them with my readers.

Did I say I hear voices? Alas, I've been like this most of my life. At least since sixth grade, when I penned—er, penciled—my first mystery novel. No trace of that youthful manuscript exists today, and the world is grateful.

My writer's journey has taken me in many different directions. I’ve walked the roads of journalist, columnist, essayist, poet, story teller and book reviewer. My current path is the one I've coveted all along—novelist. My Guide and Mentor in all my travels is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory!


What's your latest book?

Calculated Revenge released in April from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Here’s a teaser:

It’s been eighteen years since Laney Thompson’s sister was abducted and killed, but Laney’s pain and haunting guilt has never faded. Now the murderer is back, taunting Laney with mementos of her sister and threatening Laney’s young daughter. School principal Noah Ryder is her best hope for protecting her daughter—if she can convince the former investigator to take the case. As the threats escalate and clues lead to shocking secrets from the past, Laney’s survival—and that of her daughter—depends on the rusty gifts and skills Noah wants only to forget.

Oo! Sounds so good! And I can't even win it--shucks. ;-) What's your favorite part of the story?

I love when Noah finally realizes that Laney’s in love with him and Laney realizes at the same time that Noah loves her. They’ve both spent a great deal of time and effort to hide their feelings from one another, and now at a highly inopportune time, they have to deal with the stunning revelation of mutual devotion where they thought their feelings were unrequited.

Ah, the big Reveal. Siiiiiggggghhhhh. Is there a theme to this book?

I hope the reader sees the theme of forgiveness front and center. The depth of forgiveness required from my characters is cavernous, but not nearly the scope of what Jesus did for us. I hope the reader grasps that comparison and is helped to come to terms with the need to forgive others in their own life. The corrupting power of hatred and bitterness is the flip side to that forgiveness coin. I hope the reader takes the example played out in the story as a jolt of awareness--a spear to the gut, if you will, as to what could happen in their own soul if they don't let go of hurts and grudges, even those that seem just and deserved. If God gave us what was just and deserved, instead of His unmerited grace and favor, we'd all just be greasy spots on the road. His example must be our lifestyle if we are to enjoy peace and freedom in our hearts.

Amen! What novel have you read and enjoyed recently?

I recently read a book called Murder in the Choir by Joel B. Reed that thoroughly entertained me and dealt well with racism. I wouldn’t necessarily categorize the book among “inspirational fiction,” but it was a decent PG-13, which is pretty wholesome for what’s out there in the secular mystery/suspense category. Amazingly enough, Reed is a self-published author from a small town near my own. I was thoroughly impressed by this man’s writing skills. This is not usually the case with self-published novels, so he’s the rare bird. Readers can look him at

I love finding those unexpectedly awesome writers! Do you remember where you were when you got your first call about a book contract?

I was at the Christian Writers Group conference in Ohio in 2005. Before I left for the conference my agent had let me know that my proposal for Reluctant Burglar would be going before the publication board, and that I should hear one way or another by the end of the week. Needless to say, I was a tad distracted during the conference, and I was naughty. I took my cell phone everywhere with me—turned on! Finally, just at dessert time during the awards banquet it went off. Talk about someone’s heart leaping into their throat! (I can now testify this can truly happen.) I zipped out of the banquet room and into the hallway to hear the news. My agent was very deadpan and recommended that I sit down. Now my heart was in my toes. Then she yelled in my ear, “They’re offering you a three book contract!” My heart went into orbit around the moon! When I shared the news with my fellow conferees, there was mighty shouting and rejoicing. Many unpublished writers at the conference said that being a part of my “moment” gave them hope that theirs would truly come. What a sweet side-effect of that first Big Call.

Awwww! That is such an awesome story! (And anyone who hasn't read Jill's To Catch a Thief Series, DO THAT!) Any upcoming releases we should keep our eye out for?

Legacy of Lies releases from Steeple Hill in October. It’s about a cop’s widow who moves to a small town to help her grandmother run her sewing business. All plans are sidetracked when she discovers the bones of an infant buried in her grandparent’s back yard. Is her legacy one of murder and lies? In order to discover the truth that will either condemn or redeem her family name, she must team up with the last man on the planet she’d care to feel attraction for—another cop.

And readers, Jill will be back with us in October to talk about this one! Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

My web site contains excerpts, links to buy, my speaking schedule, a monthly contest to win an autographed copy of my latest release, and an opportunity to sign up for my quarterly newsletter. Pop on by at I also have a readers’ group on Facebook. We chat about all sorts of things, book-wise. I’m also on Twitter and Shoutlife. Oh, and I have a blog on my web site, too. I give away lots of books there that are not my own. Here are links to these spots:


Jill Elizabeth Nelson Reader’s Group on Facebook




Thanks so much for visiting, Jill! Readers, you can purchase her book on Amazon or CrossPurposes.

Void where prohibited. Entry into the contest is considered verification of eligibility based on your local laws. Contest ends 6/17/10. Winner will have two weeks to claim book.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful book! I would really like to read it! Please enter me!

    Thanks! God bless!

    ~Katie G.

    katiegalyean (@) yahoo (.) com

  2. would enjoy reading jill's novel...thanks for the chance :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  3. What a great interview and the book sounds wonderful. Enter me please!


  4. Sounds like a delightful book. I'd love to read this one.

  5. Thanks for this giveaway.
    Please enter me.
    Love these kind of books.
    Trinity Rose

    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

  6. We posted about your giveaway at Winning Readings.


  7. Thanks for the chance to win, it looks good.

  8. I would enjoy reading this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  9. Oooooh! I love Jill's books. I was hooked from the first book. I'd love to win this one. (found another empty spot on my shelves. Ahem, by squeezing some others together. LOL)

    Thanks for the chance, You know my email, girlfriend.

  10. I just love LoveInspired Suspense novels and this one looks like a real winner. A must read. I would love to win a copy.

    Cindy W.


  11. I can't pass up a good mystery. It's still my favorite genre. Please add me to the giveaway. Thanks.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  12. I'd like to enter, thanks

  13. I would love to win this book. I read all the time and find it hard to keep any on hand. I can't afford to read as many as I do if I did not win a few along and go to the libary. Thanks for giving me the chance to win.

  14. Carmen sent me! :)
    This book sounds great! I especially like the sound of the scene when Noah and Laney realize their feelings for each other! :)
    Please enter me in the draw! :)
    God bless!

  15. Please enter me in the drawing.

    Carman sent me :)


  16. I've never heard of this author and it sounds like a book I would love. - stacey

    carman sent me

  17. Love to win this one!


  18. Thanks for the giveaway.
    I love Love inspired suspense books
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  19. Thanks for the great giveaway.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  20. Sounds really good. I'd like to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!


  21. I would love to review this book on my blog as well as enjoy a good read simply for the joy of it. Can't wait to find out the results!


  22. A wonderful interview. Thank you for the opportunity to win "Calculated Revenge." It sounds great!

  23. Sounds like a great book. Count me in

  24. I would love love love to get this book! I have several Steeple Hill books and they are all very good! Please enter me!!! :)

  25. Oh, I love all Love Inspired Books. Have not read one that I didn't like. Would love to read this one also. Carmen sent me.

  26. Thank you so much for hosting me, Roseanna. I enjoyed answering the interview and connecting with readers that way.

    Blessings to all!